September 21, 2007


Mental Health

Teach boys in school to open up about problems'
Irish Independent Health & Living (Mon, 17 Sep 2007)
It’s now well known that young men are at high risk of attempting suicide, but are often slow to seek help for emotional problems.  A new study has shown how this reluctance to seek treatment will not change unless efforts are made to end the stigmatisation around mental illness. It said that one way of improving the situation is for young people to be properly educated about mental health at school level.  This topic ought to be included in the school curriculum "as early as possible" according to the report's authors Shane Burke and Dr Patrick McKeon in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine.  "

Depression, stress significant in rural areas
Donegal Peoples Press (Tues, 18 Sep 2007)
A very significant 90% of Ireland's young farmers believe that stress and depression is a concern to young people in rural areas. 88% of survey respondents, furthermore, said that 'not enough is being done' to address the problem. "These results are very worrying, as the respondents to this survey are representative of the wider rural community", Macra's national president Catherine Buckley said.

Suicide Prevention

Assembly to debate suicide motion
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 17 Sep 2007)
The North's Assembly members will today debate attempts to tackle suicide rates in the North. Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is to propose an awareness and prevention motion to MLAs at Stormont.  Mr Adams warned the global death toll from people taking their own lives now exceeds war and homicide.

Station bans hit song about suicide
Irish Independent (Fri, 21 Sep 2007)
A Radio station has banned a controversial song dealing with suicide from its playlist following a flood of complaints from listeners.  Dublin music station FM104 said that with the rate of suicide among young people at an all- time high, it felt it was no longer appropriate to air Sean Kingston's 'Beautiful Girls'.  Meanwhile, 2FM confirmed last night that the song is also not on its playlist.  The song, which deals with unrequited love, has spent the last month at the top of the Irish and British single charts.  However, there have been growing calls internationally for the pop song to be pulled from television and radio playlists.

Mental Health Service

New DOH office for mental health 
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 18 Sep 2007)
A specialized office for mental health is to be established within the Department of Health under detailed proposals put forward by Cabinet.  Former Sligo GP Dr Jimmy Devins, the new Minister of State with responsibility for disability and mental health, explained that the office would be based on the office for children template, and would act as a focal point for the resolution of continuing mental health issues throughout the country.

New CEO for St Patrick’s Hospital Dublin
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 18 Sep 2007)
Former CEO of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) Mr Paul Gilligan has been appointed CEO of St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin.
Mr Gilligan was appointed to the position last month and replaces Mr. Brendan O’Donoghue. Prior to joining St Patrick’s, which also incorporates St Edmundsbury Private Hospital in Lucan, Mr Gilligan spent 14 years with the ISPCC — eight of which he worked as the charity’s CEO.

Women more likely than men to be readmitted to psychiatric units
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 18 Sep 2007)
Women are 1.3 times more likely than men to be readmitted to an in-patient psychiatric unit, with young people or patients with drug-related problems also more prone to readmission, according to new figures from the Health Research Board (HRB).  The HRB study, which was presented at the ‘Health 4 Life Conference’ at Dublin City University (DCU) last week, was the first to use Irish data from the HRB National Psychiatric In-patient Reporting System (NPIRS) and examined re-admissions of mental health patients to psychiatric in-patient care.


No easy answers to row over depression and medication
Irish Independent Health & Living (Mon, 17 Sep 2007)
They expressed grave concern in 2003, and mandated a "black box warning" in 2004. This is the highest level of warning that the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) – the body that regulates the licensing and prescribing of medications in the United States – issues in respect of a product. Over the years, such warnings have been given with respect to a number of products, including warfarin, the anti-blood-clotting agent, depo Provera, the injectable contraceptive, and some anti- depressants. The 2004 warnings followed a raging public controversy concerning the safety of a group of anti-depressants known as the SSRIs, of which Prozac is the best known.

High-speed pill to beat depression
Irish Daily Mail (Tues, 18 Sep 2007)
A new class of fast-acting anti-depressant pills could boost mood within three to four days. Tests show patients who take the drugs feel better much more quickly than with existing medicines, which can take six to eight weeks to kick in. Mental health experts hope the rapid-response treatment could even save lives by helping those plagued by suicidal thoughts during the early stages of drug therapy.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Easy Health (Thurs, 13 Sep 2007)
Counselling psychotherapist Ann Bracken outlines the nature of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and recommends the therapeutic approach for treatment.