January 28, 2011

Mental Health


College offers peer support for students with mental health issues

Irish Examiner (Thursday, 27 January 2011)

A pioneering initiative to support first year students with mental health difficulties has been launched at University College Cork. With €80,000 of funding from the Genio Trust, the mentored peer support initiative means students have the support of a peer to help them through their first year in college.


Mental Health Service


Counselling services see surge in calls

Metro Herald (Friday, 28 January 2011)

Calls to counselling services and requests for the numbers of psychologists and financial institutions have experienced a surge, as people facing money worries in an uncertain economic climate seek help. Directory Enquiries service 11850 saw an unprecedented surge in numbers for counsellors and financial institutions in January.


Prescribing of sleeping pills hit record levels

Irish Examiner (Thursday, 27 January 2011)

Data from the Primary Care Reimbursement Service for 2009 shows over 596,000 prescriptions were written for the insomnia drug, Zopiclone.  The prescribing rates for the benzodiazepine drug, Diazapam — better known as Valium -also rose in 2009. The use of another benzodiazepine drug Xanax, also used to treat anxiety and panic disorder, has also dramatically increased in recent years.  


Online survey to track HSE progress

Irish Examiner (Tuesday, 25 January 2011)

An online survey has been set up by the HSE to provide updates on every recommendation which it is responsible for in A Vision for Change at a local and national level. The Vision Online initiative marks the halfway point in the 10-year Vision for Change programme — the Government's blueprint for reforming the mental health services. According to the HSE, the tool will assess progress made in mental health policy over the next five years and identify gaps in service provision.


Most mental health teams lack staff
Irish Times (Tuesday, 25 January 2011)

Only 21 per cent of the State’s community mental health teams have the full range of expert staff they require to provide proper care, a new survey has found. The survey by the HSE among its directors of services found just one in five of the teams had key staff with expertise in psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing and occupational therapy. The findings were presented at a seminar in Dublin to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of A Vision for Change.


Over 600 young people use mental health service

Connacht Sentinel (Tuesday, 25 January 2011)

A pioneering drop-in service in Galway city which provides early intervention for young people with emerging mental health difficulties saw a marked upswing in activity due to the worsening economic climate last year. Over 600 young people availed of the Jigsaw service on Mary Street in 2010, a 15% increase on the demand for the facility during its first full year of operation in 2009


Changes in mental health services urged
Irish Times (Monday, 24 January 2011)

Major changes are needed if targets under the Government’s A Vision for Change plan are to be reached by 2016, the Irish Mental Health Coalition has said. In advance of a seminar today to mark five years of the plan, coalition director Orla Barry said accountability and investment was needed to reform mental health services.


Mental health line calls increase
Kilkenny People (Monday, 24 January 2011)

Calls for help to a mental health phone line almost doubled over the last year as the economic crisis impacted on people's lives, it has emerged. St Patrick's University Hospital in Dublin revealed its support and information service took 1,400 calls in 2010, compared to 766 a year earlier.



Suicidal girl left in waiting room for hours after being turned away from hospital
Sunday Tribune (Sunday, 23 January 2011)

Fresh concerns over psychiatric care for minors have been raised after a suicidal girl was left sitting for hours in a waiting room over Christmas as her GP attempted to secure help.


Mental Illness


Fast food can cause depression

Irish Daily Mirror (Thursday, 27 January 2011)

Consumption of trans-fat found in fast food and pastries can increase the risk of depression by nearly 50%, scientists found. However "good fat" such as olive oil, protects against the mental illness. Researchers from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria discovered that eating transfats and saturated fats – often found in junk food – increases the risk of depression.


Mothers with mental illness 'afraid to talk'

Irish Examiner (Tuesday, 25 January 2011)

There is a "conspiracy of silence" among healthcare practitioners and women in general when it comes to mothers who have a mental health problem. Professor Agnes Higgins, of Trinity College Dublin, said mothers with a mental illness feel isolated and are afraid to talk about the problem for fear their child might be taken away. Prof Higgins is supervising a pioneering study which will be researched this year and which aims to talk to 40 women around the country in relation to mothering and mental health problems.




Rise in suicides among elderly people

Irish Examiner (Friday, 28 January 2011)

Increasing isolation and the closure of traditional meeting places has been blamed for the rising number of suicides among elderly people. Pointing to newly released suicide figures from south Kerry, the local coroner, solicitor Terence Casey, said the worrying trend had been particularly noticeable since 2005,


Suicides now rampant in rural areas, warns coroner

Irish Independent (Tuesday, 25 January 2011)

A coroner warned yester- day how suicide is rampant in rural areas as he heard five inquests into the deaths of men who took their own lives. Dr Brian Mahon, acting coroner for Co Offaly, said: "It is just an example of the rampant and really serious situation in particular in the rural areas where there seems to be an increase in suicide deaths."


Suicide Prevention


Tackling suicide
Irish Times (Wednesday, 26 January 2011)

Suicide is every family’s worst nightmare and, traditionally, it is rarely discussed. That public attitude towards mental illness and suicide must change if help is to be provided for and accepted bypeople at risk.