January 25, 2008

Mental Health Service

Moving mental hospital 'would be a mistake'
Irish Examiner (Fri, 25 Jan 2008)
One of the country's top economists has said moving the Central Mental Hospital to the site of the new super-prison at Thornton Hall would be a mistake and that there were serious alternatives to the move.  Jim Power of Friends First will be one of the speakers at a seminar being held at the Mansion House next week organised by the families and carers of patients at the Central Mental Hospital .

Inspector 'ashamed' of our mental hospitals
Irish Independent (Fri, 25 Jan 2008)
A former inspector of mental hospitals last night admitted he "cringed and shivered" at the thought of colleagues from abroad seeing the living conditions of some our psychiatric patients. Dr Dermot Walsh said that just this week he saw patients enduring clanking floorboards, locked doors and having nothing to do but shuffle around.

HSE 'misappropriating' mental health funds
Irish Examiner (Fri, 25 Jan 2008)
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been accused of "misappropriating" funds by diverting almost 50% of a special budget for mental health services into other areas of healthcare. The Irish Mental Health Coalition (IMHC) yesterday called on both the Government and the HSE to urgently address significant delays in the implementation of a national plan to improve the country's mental health services first announced two years ago.

Government accused of ultimate U-turn
Irish Examiner (Fri, 25 Jan 2008)
Opposition parties yesterday accused the Government of "the ultimate U-turn" for failing to ensure reinvestment in mental health services of funds raised from the sale of psychiatric hospital lands.  Fine Gael spokesman on mental health Dan Neville said the Government had ignored its own policy by not ensuring these funds were ring-fenced for the future development of mental health services.

Irish College of Psychiatrists calls for urgent security review
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 22 Jan 2008)
The Irish College of Psychiatrists has called for an immediate review of each psychiatric facility in the country to determine the measures required to provide a secure workplace for all psychiatrists and other mental health workers.

Untrained staff treating mentally-ill inmates
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 22 Jan 2008)
Some of those responsible for the provision of healthcare to inmates in Irish prisons do not have mental health training, a new EU report has highlighted.  This is despite the fact that, as in other jur
isdictions, the proportion of prisoners with significant mental disorders is greater than in the general population.

HSE was warned over lack of secure facility beds
Irish Examiner (Fri, 18 Jan 2008)
As two doctors were last night treated in hospital after being stabbed by a psychiatric patient in Limerick, it has emerged that the Health Service Executive was forewarned   by experts there would be "tragic, violent consequences" of a lack of secure psychiatry beds at a psychiatric facility only last month. Four consultant psychiatrists wrote to the HSE days before the violent murder of Michael Hughes in Dublin in December.

Disaster looms over lack of secure facilities for acutely mentally ill
Irish Independent, (Fri, 18 Jan 2008)
On December 13, 2007, three psychiatrist colleagues and I, already struggling to provide a service to public patients in the local HSE area, and linked to the Mater Hospital, felt compelled to write a letter to the HSE National Director of Primary, Community and Continuing Care.  This was prompted by having learnt that day, by chance, that psychiatric beds for acutely mentally ill people, who require short-term intensive and secure care, were no longer available.

Mental Illness

Drug-induced weight gain
Irish Health (Sat, 19 Jan 2008)
The use of antipsychotic drugs can be an essential part of treatment for people with conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. However one side effect of these drugs can be weight gain. Now a team of researchers has shown that this kind of weight gain can be avoided through a specially designed weight control programme.


Getting to grips with depression
Irish Times Subscription (Tue, 22 Jan 2008)
A new training programme for families and professionals who come into contact with people with depression was launched yesterday. The programme is aimed at helping people understand the condition and equip them better to deal with it. Called Beyond the Blues, the programme is a response to the demand by families and professionals such as the Garda, teachers, clergy, family support workers and mental health professionals who still do not understand either the causes or the symptoms of depression.

Suicide Prevention

Minister of State defends Government’s commitment to suicide prevention
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 22 Jan 2008)
Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Dr Jimmy Devins, has defended the Government’s commitment to suicide prevention. This comes following the announcement last week that the National Office for Suicide Prevention will not receive any additional funding this year. The group currently receives €4.5 million a year from the HSE, although its budget for 2007 included additional funding of €1.85 million.