February 20, 2009

Mental Health

We need 'to love, and to work'
Irish Health (Tue, 17 Feb 2009)
Hard Times: Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was once asked the secret of a healthy, happy life. He answered: “To love, and to work.” As a psychotherapist and specialist in bereavement counselling, Judy Matthews points out, while the central importance of loving relationships in one’s life is well understood, the importance of work and the loss of it is less recognised.

Irish Daily Mail (Mon, 16 Feb 2009)
A drug which appears to erase painful memories has been developed by scientists.  The astonishing treatment could help sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder and those whose lives are plagued by hurtful recurrent memories.  But experts said the breakthrough raises disturbing ethical questions about what makes us human. They also warned it could have damaging psychological consequences, preventing those who take it from learning from their mistakes.


Mental Illness

Depression risk 50 times lower in Japan due to fish intake
Irish Examiner (Wed, 18 Feb 2009)
Irish people are 50 times more likely to develop depression than the Japanese because we don't eat enough fish, a conference was told in Dublin yesterday. Professor Michael Crawford, director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, at London Metropolitan University, suggested that dependence on a meat and wheat-based diet is resulting in a significant rise in brain ill-health in the Western world.

Mentally ill people not more likely to be violent
Clare Champion (Fri, 13 Feb 2009)
People in the Mid-West who have mental illness are not more likely to commit acts of violence, according to a North Clare social worker.  Having worked with people who have mental health difficulties in the region for over eight years, Ann Marie Flanagan has confirmed she never met a patient who presented any danger to others.  Commenting on the results of a new study in the United States examining the link between mental illness and violence, Ms Flanagan said the findings reflected her experience working as the Mid- West regional development Officer for SHINE – Supporting People Affected by Mental 111 Health.


Mental Health Service

Phone listening helpline marks two years' service
Wexford People (Wed, 18 Feb 2009)
CALL, County Wexford's information and listening helpline for people under stress, celebrated two years of service provision on Valentine's Night. Since going live on February 14 last year, CALL has provided a listening ear, information and referral every single night – in the difficult 'twilight hours', including weekends, bank holidays and over festive periods, when many other services are closed.

Mental healthcare standards still falling short
Irish Health (Tue, 17 Feb 2009)
Sub-standard accommodation, lack of proper therapy programmes, no proper multidisciplinary care, lack of privacy, poor bathroom facilities and understaffing are among the service deficits Ireland's 'forgotten patients' have to endure in many of our mental health units across the country. This is according to the latest report, for 2008, from the Inspector of Mental Health Services. The inspectorate is part of the Mental Health Commission, which oversees what is often seen as the 'Cinderella' of the Irish healthcare system, often starved
of funding and of public and media attention.


Child psychiatric unit discontinued because administrator is on maternity leave
Athlone Voice (Tue, 17 Feb 2009)
Three weeks on, no replacement administration officer been appoint- ed to the Child Psychiatric unit, Brackernagh, Ballinasloe, thus discontinuing the one day a week clinic, due to the administration officer taking up her maternity leave.  In a statement released to The Voice by the HSE West, they stated that "efforts are currently being made to reassign another member of staff to fill the post to cover the duration of maternity leave."


Inspector of mental health units finds repeat failings
Irish Examiner (Tue, 17 Feb 2009)
Failings in mental health units across the country .including "serious deficits" in services, "unacceptable" living conditions, and "in- sufficient" bathing facilities, have been highlighted in the 2008 Inspector of Mental Health Services report.  Among problems revealed in the report, children complained of a lack of a privacy while dressing and undressing, facilities that were understaffed, lacking therapeutic services and in need of redecoration and upgrading.


State deserts children with mental health disabilities – McFadden
Mullingar Advertiser (Fri, 13 Feb 2009)
There appears to be no accountability in the HSE for the disappearance of €11.2 million allocated for mental health services for children. Fine Gael Longford/Westmeath Senator, Nicky McFadden, has called on the Government to stop neglecting children with mental health problems by providing them with essential and much needed resources. Senator McFadden said it was an outrage that a judge in Athlone had no alternative but to remand a 15-year- old in an adult detention centre due to lack of adequate resources for children.



Suicide Prevention


Irish Daily Mirror (Fri, 20 Feb 2009)
A Garda source told the Irish Daily Mirror young officers should be prepared for the worst. She said: "They were told to expect a sharp rise in people taking their own lives – some people don't see any other way out. "Economic recession, especially when it is sudden and severe, can lead to an increase in suicide rates. This is not only because more people become unemployed and more vulnerable, while those in employment feel threatened too. "


Study shows prison suicide risk

Irish Medical Times (Thu, 19 2009)
Suicide is 20 times more common in female prisoners than in the general female population, a new study has revealed. But Irish prisoners may be at less risk of suicide than their counterparts in the UK because of different procedures and standards in Irish jails.


Suicide Prevention in Ireland and Europe
Mallow Star (Thu, 12 Feb 2009)
A formal presentation followed by discussion from the floor, on Suicide Prevention in Ireland and Europe, formed part of a full day event programme entitled 'Your Health and Europe', a conference hosted by Colm Burke MEP in the Charleville Park Hotel last Saturday. The session facilitated the bringing together of academic, practical and personal experiences in the area of suicide prevention.