March 28, 2008

Mental Illness

Substance abuse link to mental problems
Evening Herald (Thu, 20 Mar 2008)
A large number of Irish prisoners admitted to the Central Mental Hospital with mental illnesses had histories of substance abuse, according to latest research.  The study, which dealt with admissions from the criminal justice system to the Central Mental Hospital between January 1997 to December 2003, shows that the numbers falling under the category of suffering from substance misuse, personality disorder and learning disability was on the increase.

Mental Health Service

Children waiting months for psychiatric assessment (Tue, 25 Mar 2008)
Thousands of children with mental health problems are waiting months or years for vital psychiatric assessments as a result of severe staff and bed shortages, according to an internal Health Service Executive (HSE) report.  The executive commissioned a report last year into waiting lists for child and adolescent psychiatric services which found major gaps in community mental health teams and a serious lack of beds for emergency cases.

Beds for eating-disorder children due this year
Irish Times Subscription (Tue, 25 Mar 2008)
The first beds for children and adolescents suffering from eating disorders outside Dublin will be opened in Cork this year. Eight interim beds will be available at St Stephen's Hospital in Glanmire later this year and a new specialist unit is due to open in Blackrock late next year.

Suicide Prevention

Call to reduce suicide rate by 10%
Irish Times Subscription (Fri, 28 Mar 2008)
The government is committed to achieving a 10 per cent reduction in the number of deaths by suicide over the next two years, the Minister of State for Mental Health said yesterday. Dr Jimmy Devins was speaking at the launch of the Console organisation's Snowdrop campaign, which is aiming to create awareness of suicide services and to raise funds to help those bereaved.

'No need' for extra bereavement services
Irish Examiner (Thu, 27 Mar 2008)
There is no need for the development of specialist supports for families bereaved by suicide outside of general bereavement services, a report prepared for the National Office for Suicide Prevention says.  Consultants commissioned by the office said it was inconclusive whether support for suicide bereavement was different to other kinds of bereavement support and concluded: "A separate, standalone, suicide-specific bereavement support service should not be established at this time. "

Console drive for coping with suicide
Irish Examiner (25 Mar 2008)
Counselling group Console yesterday launched a spring campaign to raise funds to help loved-ones bereaved by suicide.  Console is selling snow- drop badges from Thursday for €3 each in branches of Dunnes Stores and Marks & Spencer as well as other retailers.  The charity plans to use proceeds from the sale of the pin-badges to fund counselling services for family and friends of those who take their, own lives.