July 29, 2011

Mental Health Service

42 % of psychiatric patients in hospital for over a year, survey finds
Irish Examiner (Wednesday, 27 July 2011)
There will be more than 300 long- stay patients still living in large psychiatric hospitals in 2030 if Government policy to close down the institutions does not speed up, it has been warned. A census of psychiatric hospitals, published by the Health Research Board, which took a snapshot of the hospital population on one night in 2010, found that of 2,812 patients, 42% had been in hospital continuously for one year or more, slightly down from 46% in 2006.

Patients wait five months for first mental health appointment

The Argus, (Wednesday, 27 July 2011)
Patients from the Dundalk area can wait as long as five months for an initial appointment with the HSE's mental health service, figures obtained by The Argus reveal. At the end of June there were 56 patients currently waiting on initial mental health service appointments. Patient wait times vary from six weeks to five months and the HSE said that 'waiting lists are prioritised on the basis of weekly multi-disciplinary clinical meetings'.

No final decision made but Mount Sion review underway – HSE

South Tipp Today (Wednesday, 27 July 2011)
The HSE South has officially commented on the situation at Mount Sion, the high support residential facility in Tipperary Town that was reported to be facing closure. Staff members had been informed that the mental health residence would be closed by Christmas 2011. Now the HSE has stated that no final decision has been made in relation to Mount Sion but has revealed that a full review of the facility is underway.

Places sought for patients

Irish Times (Tuesday, 26 July 2011)
Health authorities are under pressure to find alternative accommodation for dozens of patients in the acute unit of a major psychiatric hospital which is due to close by the end of next month.

Overhaul of Mental Health Act 2001 now urgently required
Irish Times (Monday, 25 July 2011)
The Mental Health Act 2001, setting out the circumstances in which a person may be admitted to, detained and treated in a hospital against their will, is not human rights compliant and must be urgently updated and amended, writes Colm O’Gorman.

Mentally ill man 'locked up for 2,000 hours'
Irish Independent (Saturday, 23 July 2011)
A mentally ill patient had spent nearly 2,000 hours in seclusion while being held as an involuntary patient, a judge has been told. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was locked up for more than 100 hours at a time at St Luke's Psychiatric Hospital in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

Mental Ill Health

9,630 people sought help last year after self-harming
Irish Times (Friday, 29 July 2011)
Some 9,630 people presented to hospital emergency departments after deliberately harming themselves last year, marking the fourth successive increase in self-harm rates in as many years. The annual report of the National Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm concludes the “economic recession is likely to be a key contributor to the recent increases in hospital-treated deliberate self-harm”. Rates of deliberate self-harm have increased by 27 per cent for men and 7 per cent for women since 2007, it says.

121 million have depression
Irish Health.com (Tuesday, 26 July 2011)
Depression remains a significant public health problem across all parts of the world, affecting 121 million people, new research has found. Overall, those in high income countries were more likely to suffer a major depressive episode than those in lower income countries.

Depression surge in rich suburbs over cash worries
Sunday Independent (Sunday, 24 July 2011)
The number of anxiety and depression disorders in the country's richest neighbourhood has more than doubled since the recession.  The clinical director of the Cluain Mhuire Community Mental Health Services for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Dr Siobhan Barry, said there has been a huge jump in the number of referrals to their services between 2008 and 2009, when the recession hit the country. The remarkable increase in the numbers attending the public service is also thought to be caused by an increase in patients who used private healthcare in the past.

Suicide Prevention

Samaritans team up with Google
Irish Times (Thursday, 28 July 2011)
Internet search giant Google has teamed up with the Samaritans to provide information to those seeking help for emotional issues. From today, internet users in Ireland searching online for information about suicide using Google will find the Samaritans helpline number displayed prominently beside search results.