August 22, 2008

Mental Health

Surge in calls to elderly helpline as families fly to sun
Irish Examiner (Wed, 20 Aug 2008)
A national helpline for elderly people has experienced a marked increase in calls because, with the poor weather, families are reportedly taking more sun holidays abroad, leaving their older relatives behind. Calls to the Senior Helpline are up 27% from this time last year. Helpline co-ordinator Mary Nally said when the helpline was set up nine years ago pensioners primarily called in large numbers in winter, but increasingly elderly people were speaking of feelings, of isolation during the summer.

Mental Health Service

Tribunal psychiatrists net over â ¬3.5 million
Irish Medical Times (Fri, 15 Aug 2008)
Consultant psychiatrists were collectively paid nearly €3.621 million last year for sitting on mental health tribunal panels or appearing before those bodies to give their independent opinions.
A total of 54 psychiatrists who sat on tribunal panels collectively received just over €1.643 million, while 48 independent consultant psychiatrists received nearly €1.978 million in the same time frame.

Mental Illness

'Abortion not linked to mental problems'
Irish Health (Tue, 19 Aug 2008)
Abortion of an unwanted pregnancy is not linked to an increased risk of mental health problems for adult women, new research has claimed.
According to a new study released by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion, the abortion of an unwanted pregnancy, on its own, is not an actual cause of mental health problems.

Antidepressants may impair driving
Irish Health (Mon, 18 Aug 2008)
Taking antidepressants may affect some people’s ability to drive, the results of a new study indicate. US psychologists recruited 60 people to participate in a driving simulation, in which participants had to make a series of common driving decisions, such as reacting to brake lights and traffic lights while being distracted by things, including other cars, bicycles and animals.

Exploiting LSD's benefits
Irish Times (Mon, 18 Aug 2008)
Controversial as it seems, controlled clinical trials of LSD have shown it to cure psychosis. Scientists are exploring the use of psychedelic drugs such as LSD to treat a range of ailments from depression to cluster headaches and obsessive compulsive disorder.


Suicide Prevention

Behind the figures
Irish Times (Mon, 18 Aug 2008)
Last week, a new report found that the Republic's suicide rate is 47 per cent higher than in the North, but is it really that black and white? Tony Bates looks behind the figures


Maternal stress link to schizophrenia
Irish Health (Thu, 21 Aug 2008)
Women who endure acute psychological stress during pregnancy may be more likely to give birth to children who go on to develop schizophrenia, a major US study has indicated.

 Eating Disorders

Heroin chic is not just the preserve of female fashion
Irish Examiner (Fri, 22 Aug 2008)
Eating and body image disorders are affecting more men, writes Declan Cashin.