March 2, 2007

Mental Health

 Some patients refusing rehabilitation assistance
Irish Medical Times (Fri, 23 Feb 2007)

A study being undertaken by doctors at St Ita’s Hospital in Dublin is trying to find out why some patients refuse assistance from the Community Rehabilitation Team and how this can be resolved. A number of statistics are already available from the study, which found that the most common diagnoses were schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder (72 per cent of patients who were referred) and bipolar affective disorder (17 per cent). A quarter of all patients referred to the team misused alcohol, while a quarter also abused drugs.

NSPCC seeks urgent improvement in mental health services
Unison Breaking News (Mon, 26 Feb 2007)

The North's leading child protection charity is calling for urgent action to improve mental health services for young people. The NSPCC says almost 140 young girls rang its helpline last year worried about suicide, some of them as young as eight.

 HSE too fragmented-psychiatrists
Irish Health (Thu, 1 March 2007)

Psychiatrists have called for mental health services to be included in the remit of the new Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) which will be set up shortly to monitor and maintain safety standards in the health service. The Irish College of Psychiatrists, at a meeting with Minister of State at the Department of Health Tim O'Malley yesterday said this exclusion was of concern to all psychiatrists.

 'Very ill' man unlawfully held in psychiatric care (Thu, 1 March 2007)

The High Court has ruled that a "very ill" man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia is being unlawfully detained in a psychiatric hospital.

However, the court also ruled it is entitled to make orders providing for a process leading to a valid detention order in the man's case.

 Bray author hopes to dispel myths surrounding mental illness

Wicklow Times, (Wed, 28 Feb)

This week a new novel aims to dispel much of the myth surrounding mental illness while also providing an insight into the isolation experienced by people suffering from it. 'Billy Come Home' is the eight novel to be published by Bray author Mary Rose Callaghan and much of the inspiration for the story comes from Co. Wicklow. Billy, Come Home is a harrowing story of murder, a rush to judgement and the consequent tragedy. Set in the suburbs of Dublin, the central character is Billy, a man with schizophrenia who is accused of the brutal murder of a teenage girl.

A new series of Mind Matters, the RTÉ radio one series which looks at both the science and human experience of brain disorders, begins next Tuesday at 8.30pm. The first programme will look at the genetic disease, Huntington's Chorea. Subsequent programmes will look at migraines, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Listeners can subscribe to a podcast of the series on . See also for extra information about each programme, along with full transcripts.


Suicide Prevention

 Suicide prevention strategy

SCOPE (Mon, 26 Feb, 2007)

Health Minister Paul Goggins has launched the Suicide Prevention Strategy for Northern Ireland. He also announced the creation of a 24-hour pilot helpline in North and West Belfast: 0808 808 8000. He is allocating an additional £600,000 to promote suicide prevention. In Northern Ireland the suicide rate is rising significantly and there are now about 150 suicides each year. Just over 40% of these are young men aged under 35 years.

 Groups to seek suicide awareness as election issue
Irish Times (Thu, 1 Mar 2007)

Mr Smyth, chairman of the charity Turning the Tide of Suicide (3Ts) which hosted a rally on suicide at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday has said groups advocating improved mental health services will seek to make suicide awareness and prevention a major issue in the forthcoming general election campaign. Mr Smyth said the groups would seek the implementation of three reports on suicide and mental health service reform that they have submitted to the Government in recent years. This would involve spending about €10 million more per year over five years and the introduction of targets for reducing suicide rates.

 No extra funds for suicide prevention

Irish Daily Mail (Fri, 2 March 2007)

No extra funding is planned for suicide prevention this year, Tanaiste Michael McDowell told the Dail yesterday. Fine Gael deputy leader Richard
Bruton said: 'A far greater number die by suicide than in road accidents.' He then asked if the Government had any plans to introduce a supplementary financial estimate to deal with cutbacks in the suicide prevention programme. Mr McDowell, who was representing the Taoiseach, asked Mr Bruton to put down a parliamentary question to the relevant minister on the issue. He added: 'I'm not aware of any proposal to introduce a supplementary estimate in that regard.'

 Hard to swallowl

RTE Guide (Sat, 24 Feb 2007)

There is a new eating disorder that you may not have heard of: it's called orthorexia. Orthorexia is an obsessive desire to eat only foods that are 'healthy'; to eat foods that are 'nutritious; to eat only foods that are 'pure'. The condition was discovered by a Californian medic, Dr Steven Bratman, who describes the condition as being 'fixated on righteous eating'.



 Symptoms of depression linked to early stages of coronary artery disease

Irish Medical Times (Fri, 23 Feb 2007)

Depressive symptoms may be associated with thickening arteries, which may reflect an early sign of coronary artery disease. Researchers looked at 324 men and women who were an average of 60.6 years old. At the beginning of the study, participants attended 11 visits in a five-month period, including a medical screening; testing for cardiovascular risk factors, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol; questionnaires to assess depression, anxiety, hostility and anger; and ultrasound tests to deter- mine carotid artery intimamedia thickness (IMT).