September 4, 2007

Mental Health

Mental health services under strain in bigger EU, says doctor
Irish Medical News (Mon, 27 Aug 2007)
EU enlargement is likely to pose major challenges to the region’s mental health services, according to a leading Irish psychiatrist. Dr Brendan Kelly says the EU will have increasing effects, both direct and indirect, on mental health services in the coming decades.  In a commentary on a proposed common European mental health policy, Dr Kelly says over 27 per cent of EU citizens experience mental illness in any given year, and that 58,000 EU citizens die from suicide each year

Suicide Prevention

Junior Minister Devins vows to cut suicide rate by 10% (Sun, 26 Aug 2007)
A Junior Health Minister says he is committed to reducing the suicide rate by 10% by 2010.Dr Jimmy Devins made the comments at a meeting discussing youth suicide today.
He said that it is important to identify ways to prevent further loss of life

 A&E wards 'should be better used for prevention'
Irish Independent (Mon, 27 Aug 2007)
Accident and emergency wards should be better utilised to tackle the growing number of suicide attempts by young people, a Dublin conference heard. Dr Annette Beautrais, a psychiatrist from New Zealand and leading international expert on suicide prevention, said A&E departments are under used in the context of suicide prevention. This is despite them been the first port of call for youths who have engaged in self-harming. Aside from just treating people for injuries stemming from self- harming, emergency wards provide a crucial opportunity for healthcare professionals to establish contact and provide on- going intervention, she told delegates at a two-day conference on youth suicide in Dublin yesterday.

Internet role in suicide discussed
Irish Health (Tue, 28 Aug 2007)
The role of the internet and reactions to suicide will be discussed at a major international conference in Killarney starting today. The Congress of the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) has attracted 700 delegates from 45 countries.

Self-harm patients 'get poor aftercare'
Irish Examiner (Tues, 28 Aug 2007)
A high proportion of people who attempt suicide or self-harm in Ireland do not receive psychiatric or other professional assessment afterwards, according to a pilot study.  Based on people turning up at hospital A&E departments, the study showed no evidence of assessment in 28% of attempted drownings or hangings. An even higher percentage of those who had taken an overdose, 42%, and those who had engaged in self- cutting, 45%, did not receive assessment. The study called for a standardised system of assessing people who engage in deliberate self-harm.  The findings will be among the outcomes of five studies to be presented at the 24th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, which starts in Killarney today and continues until Saturday.

Six-year-old children attempting suicide (Wed, 29 Aug 2007)
Children as young as six are being treated in hospital after attempting suicide, an alarming study revealed today. esearch carried out at Dublin's two main children's hospitals found 483 youngsters were treated in A&E after deliberately self-harming over two periods since the mid-1990s. Around 10% of the children were under 11, the youngest was six and the oldest was 17.
The study was carried out at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin between 1994 and 2003 and the Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, from 2002 to 2006.

Rural suicide study
Irish Examiner (Wed, 29 Aug 2007)
Rural suicide study by Ray Ryan
TEAGASC is to fund a three-year study into suicide in rural Ireland, it was confirmed yesterday.  Dr Cathal O'Donoghue, head of Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre (RERC) at Mellow's Campus, Athenry, Co Galway, said the study would examine the issue of rural men and suicide.  As a seminar was held at the campus on Irish rural societal change and the growing incidence of suicide, he said Teagasc had allocated funding for the PhD study through its Walsh Fellowships Scheme.

Celtic Tiger blamed for rise in crisis
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 30 Aug 2007)
The Celtic Tiger has led to an increase in suicide in Ireland, an international expert said yesterday.  Dr Jose Bertolote of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said rapid changes in society and the economy usually resulted in a rise in suicide rates.  "A similar situation happened in Norway which became very rich after the discovery of oil in the North Sea.  When the social fabric changes, suicide increases — that's the experience," he said.  A psychiatrist and neurologist, Dr Bertolote said people didn't know how to behave when the social fabric was disrupted. 

Railway deaths: 126 took their own lives
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 30 Aug 2007)
Up to 126 deaths on Irish railway tracks between 1998 and 2003 have been identified as suicides.  The first study of rail network deaths in Ireland also identified key "hot spots" and clusters where a number of suicides occurred over an eight-year period.  Various data was used, including geographical information system analysis and the results will be used to introduce some preventative strategies.  Six locations were- singled out and some of these were close to mental hospitals, according to the study, which will be outlined in detail later this week at the International Association for Suicide Prevention conference in Killarney.

Bebo says it's working hard to bring responsibility online
Irish Examiner (Fri, 31 Aug 2007)
Social network site Bebo is responding to its critics and says it is demonstrating how to do social networking responsibly. Bebo has introduced Bebo-Be-One, aimed at offering a cyber zone where its members can access pro-active campaign groups or find support for personal problems more easily.  Bebo-Be-One has four branches: Bebo-be-inspired — an arts-based talent site; Bebo-be-cause — an issues and causes website; Bebo-be-enriched — connecting members to ideas websites and Bebo-be-well — linking members to support services.  The pages are an attempt to channel the positive energies of Bebo users and offers an opportunity to access different areas of support and health services, moving social networking away from images of bullying and self-harm.

 Call for register of workplace bullies
Irish Independent (Fri, 31 Aug 2007)
Bullies almost always win and the best idea is to walk away – and this included changing jobs, a leading clinic
al psychologist has said.  Around one fifth of suicides are related to bullying and harassment at work, it is estimated.  "At least 100 people in Ireland's workplaces are effectively bullied to death every year," Michael Mullally a psychologist in Galway and a recognised expert on workplace bullying said at an international conference on suicide prevention in Killarney. He has called for the setting up of a register of workplace bullies.  Unions, employers and the Government should stand up and take a lot more notice, he said.

Eating Disorders

Learning curves
Irish Examiner (Fri, 31 Aug 2007)
Dr Carmen Kuhling, of the University of Limerick's sociology department and author of Cosmopolitan Ireland: Globalisation and Quality of Life, says ideal body image is always linked to broader social and cultural factors.  In the 1600s, full figures were seen as beautiful because "largeness symbolised wealth in times of scarcity".  "Ideal body image is, for whatever reason, the one that's most difficult to attain," Kuhling says.  "It often was a way of distinguishing the 'elite' from the masses.”  So in the time-poor 21st century, with its fast-food and consumption culture, perfectly toned people, who show they can resist temptation and spend hours in the gym, have the bodies everyone else strives for.  Although campaigns against this unrealistic body image are slowly emerging, are they really having any effect?