February 27, 2009

Mental Health

Dáil na nÓg calls for free cancer vaccine
Irish Times (Sat, 21 Feb 2009)
Free cervical cancer vaccinations should be made available to girls aged 12-18 and young people should be provided with access to sex education appropriate to their needs, members of Dáil na nÓg have declared.  Delegates at the event held in Croke Park yesterday voted in favour of the introduction of a nationwide awareness campaign promoting positive mental health, for physical education in schools to be prioritised and for youth cafes to be accessible in all areas.

Mental Illness

Increase in calls to mental health helplines
Irish Times (Fri, 27 Feb 2009)
The economic downturn has led to increased calls to helplines for people with mental health problems, it was said yesterday. John Saunders, director of Schizophrenia Ireland, which was formally renamed Shine yesterday, said his organisation’s helpline (1890 621-631) had noticed the increase, as had voluntary bodies such as The Samaritans and Aware.

Negative perceptions on mental health
Irish Health (Wed, 25 Feb 2009)
The recent media coverage of the committal of Mary Prendergast to the Central Mental Hospital and the appalling death of her daughter, Jessica, creates a very worrying public opinion about the danger from people with mental ill health. It also begs the necessity for a much deeper examination by the media and the general public in relation to the links between mental illness and violence.

Harder to admit mental problem than being gay
Metro (Tue, 24 Feb 2009)
People find it harder to 'come out' about mental health problems than being gay, having cancer, having a drink problem or being bankrupt, according to new research. In a survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK, nearly 30 per cent said they would find it hard to 'come out' publicly about having a mental health problem, compared with just over 20 per cent who said they would feel awkward about coming out as gay.

Is cannabis harmless?
Irish Times (Tue, 24 Feb 2009)
Very few people attending the Rutland Centre in Dublin would agree that cannabis is a harmless drug, according to head of treatment services, Austin Prior. “I think it is scary that this myth exists,” he says. “I see young lads coming in here suffering from the effects of long-term cannabis use who are completely de-motivated, suffering from severe depression and even psychosis. The long-term impact is huge and in the short term there are problems with memory loss and distorted perceptions of reality.”

Mental Health Service

Amnesty 'concerned' over children's mental health Services
Irish Examiner (Fri, 27 Feb 2009)
Amnesty International Ireland (All) said it is "gravely concerned" about the lack of adequate mental health services for children in Ireland. Following reports that 20 children who were placed in the care of the state have died over a six-year period, including five young people who died from drug overdoses and two from suicide, executive director of All Colm O'Gorman said mental health teams suffer from grave shortages in basic staffing.

Psychiatric nurses ballot for action in protest at levy
Irish Independent (Fri, 27 Feb 2009)
Psychiatric nurses yester- day began a ballot for industrial action in protest at the pension levy, calling it a "crude, discriminatory and inequitable tax on public sector employment". The nurses, who are members of the Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA), work in psychiatric hospitals and community mental health services.

Suicide Prevention

Revealed: A prisoner dies every six weeks
Irish Examiner (Thu, 26 Feb 2009)
One prisoner has died while in custody in an Irish jail every six weeks since the start of 2007, the Department of Justice has confirmed.  Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner show in the past two years, 16 inmates died behind bars, with 10 losing their lives in 2008 — the second highest figure in the last decade.

Eating Disorders

When your food is your child's enemy
Irish Times (Tue, 24 Feb 2009)
Eating disorders can be hard to diagnose and treat, and it can take five years to get to grips with anorexia once treatment starts, writes Sheila Wayman.

Children as young as 9 seek eating disorder help
Irish Examiner (Tue, 24 Feb 2009)
Children as young as nine are seeking help for eating disorders, according to Bodywhys, the national support group.  The increasingly young age profile of callers to the association's helpline is a worrying trend, according to Bodywhys chief executive Jacinta Hastings.  "The children affected by eating disorders are not only getting younger, but their conditions are becoming more complex and there is also a rise in the number of boys contacting us.”



Exercising a new approach to depression
Irish Times (Tue, 24 Feb 2009)
Antidepressants are not only expensive, according to the clinical standards watchdog National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), they are for many people no more helpful than a placebo, and should not be used as a first recourse for mild to moderate depression.