January 29, 2010

Mental Health

25% of sick claims cite mental health
Irish Times (Wed, 27 Jan 2010)
Almost a quarter of the 77,665 people in receipt of illness benefit last year cited mental health issues as the reason they were unfit for work, new figures show. Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin has said she will develop policy to take account of increasing numbers of people now on disability payments because of mental illness.

Break free from social anxiety
Irish Independent (Mon, 25 Jan 2010)
Everyone has heard of alcoholism and depression, the top two mental health problems, but number three on the list is social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety is described as the "common cold" of psychiatric disorders because it is so prevalent It is characterised by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in social situations.

Mental Health Service

Over 50% of patients happy with mental health services
Irish Times (Tue, 26 Jan 2010)
Many people who use mental health services say they are happy with the quality of treatment they receive, despite the negative perception of the psychiatric system.

Health Briefing
Irish Times (Tue, 26 Jan 2010)
One of the country’s major psychiatric hospitals has opened its first regional mental health centre in Cork with plans to open another clinic in Galway later this year. The Dean Clinics are being established as part of a five-year strategy by St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin, to expand its services around the country, in response to the demand for community- based mental health facilities.

Amnesty Make mental health priority
Irish Examiner (Mon, 25 Jan 2010)
The Government has come under renewed pressure to deliver on its own document for mental health services, after Amnesty International said it was time for politicians to deliver on promises. In a letter sent to all politicians in ' Leinster House, Amnesty International Ireland executive director Colin O'Gorman said political will power was needed to make mental health a priority this year.

Mental health in mind
Sunday Business Post (Sun, 24 Jan 2010)
A new research and information centre for people who use mental health services is to open tomorrow in the Burton Hall area of Sandyford in south Dublin. However, the centre is not being provided by the state.

Meeting on surprise closure of Tipperary psychiatric unit
Irish Times (Sat, 23 Jan 2010)
Senior doctors and local politicians yesterday met the Taoiseach to discuss a surprise decision by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to close a 49-bed acute psychiatric unit at South Tipperary General Hospital.

Mental Illness

Treatment through talking
Irish Medical Times (Fri, 29 Jan 2010)
An increase in levels of stress, anxiety and depression – which are all commonly associated with an economic recession – has prompted a team of therapists based in Dublin, Kildare and Meath to promote a greater awareness of the value of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) in working with mental health issues.

Depressive psychosis, involuntary ECT and human rights
Irish Medical Times (Wed, 27 Jan 2010)
Dr Brendan Kelly writes that removing the possibility of involuntary electro-convulsive therapy for patients with severe mental illness may be a violation of their rights to medical care — and even their right to life

Suicide Prevention

Call for €10m to tackle suicide crisis
Irish Examiner (Fri, 29 Jan 2010)
The Government has been urged to find an extra €10 million in emergency funding to cope with Ireland's suicide crisis, after a 35% rise in deaths in the first half of last year. Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show that 228 people died by suicide in the first six months of 2009 — up 59 on the same period in 2008.

Effects of suicide on friends to be probed
Irish Independent (Mon, 25 Jan 2010)
A pioneering new study will explore the effects of suicide on the bereaved friends of young men who have taken their lives. The study – which is being undertaken by University College Dublin (UCD) and St Vincent's Hospital – will examine male suicide in a way that has never been done before in Ireland.

Euthanasia 'tourists' could face €35,000 suicide tax
Irish Independent (Sat, 23 Jan 2010)
Patients who travel to Switzerland to die in Zurich's suicide clinics could face a €35,000 death tax. Right-wing Swiss politicians, concerned over what they see as death tourism, want groups such as Dignitas to pay large fines for helping anyone to die, who has not lived in Zurich for at least a year.