June 29, 2007


Mental Health

European committee probe to test legality of Irish Mental Health Act
Irish Examiner (Wed, 27 June 2007)
The European Parliament's Petitions Committee is investigating claims by two former mental health patients that the Mental Health Act is in clear violation of international law. MEP Kathy Sinnott, committee vice-president, is leading a number of MEPs on a fact-finding mission. Ms Sinnott has arranged to meet John McCarthy and Mary Maddock, both from Cork, who believe recent changes in international and EU law call into question the legality of the Irish law.

Report highlights the benefits of psychotherapy
Irish Examiner (Tue, 26 June 2007)
Psychotherapy intervention can be more effective than medication alone in treating sufferers of depression, anxiety, insomnia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new report. The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy report published yesterday found that psychotherapy works in two- thirds of cases and called for a more structured usage of it in the health system. Its author, Professor Alan Carr of University College Dublin (UCD), said a national psychotherapy service would be cost-effective by freeing up hospital beds and reducing medical bills for people with psychological illnesses.

Lundbeck wins Art Against Stigma award
Irish Medical Times (Fri, 22 June 2007)
Lundbeck Ireland has won the 'Most Innovative and Creative Collaboration' Category at this year's Allianz BusinessZArts Awards 2007 for its Art Against Stigma' Initiative in partnership with voluntary cultural organisation, the George Moore Society. The Allianz BusinessZArts Awards are the only ones of their kind in Ireland which recognise excellence in arts sponsorship by Irish business.

Suicide Prevention

Helping hands of hope
Irish Times Subscription (Tue, 26 Jun 2007)
Communities devastated by suicide have set up their own support networks for young people, writes Mark Rodden .

Mental Health Service

At-risk children sent abroad as suitable care unavailable
Irish Times Subscription (Wed, 27 Jun 2007)
Thirteen children in the care of the State are in residential units outside the jurisdiction because there is nowhere suitable for them in Ireland, it has emerged. Most of the children have severe behavioural or psychiatric problems and have been placed in care centres in the UK, Sweden and the US.

Asylum seekers in need of mental health care services
Irish Examiner (Thu, 28 June 2007)
Asylum seekers are five times more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses than Iri
sh citizens, according to a new report. A study by the Department of General Practice and National University of Ireland Galway said GPs should be given more re- sources to provide care for asylum seekers because of their "higher and more complex consultations" for mental illnesses.

Penny-pinching delays
Irish Medical Times(Fri, 22 June 2007)
Hundreds of involuntarily detained psychiatric patients have not had a mental health tribunal review their case because they were released before a panel was established to consider their detention, a Department of Health document has revealed. Under the Mental Health Act, 2001, patients who are detained in psychiatric institutions against their will are entitled to have a tribunal review their case within 21 days of their detention order being issued. They are also entitled to a second tribunal to review their case, within three weeks of a consultant psychiatrist applying for a renewal order to the initial detention order.

Mental Health Act contains ‘significant weaknesses’
Irish Medical News (Tue, 26 Jun 2007)
The new Mental Health Act has significant weaknesses in it regarding children and it is “an extraordinary omission” that people under 18 are unable to consent to their treatment options, according to consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Martin O’Sullivan.


Anti-depressants 'could increase bone weakness risk'
Irish Independent (Tue, 26 June 2007)
Taking commonly prescribed anti-depressants may lead to lower bone density and the risk of osteoporosis in older men and women, new research suggests. Two separate studies in the US found that people who used the pills known as selective serotonin re- uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) developed thinner bones than those who did not take them.