February 1, 2008

Mental Health Service

Hospital sell-offs budget defended
Irish Independent (Thu, 31 Jan 2008)
Money from the proceeds of old psychiatric hospitals and land was never specifically going to be reinvested into mental health alone, Health Minister Mary Harney said yesterday. She was speaking after a damning report by psychiatrists last week highlighted cases where these valuable assets have been "frittered away" while patients were still living in sub-standard facilities. But Mrs Harney insisted the pledge was that the proceeds from these assets would go to funding health services in general – including mental health care.

Department warned of flaw in law on releases
Irish Examiner (Tue, 29 Jan 2008)
The Department of Justice was warned in advance about problems with laws introduced in 2006 that have led to people being detained in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) in Dublin, even though they have been deemed medically suitable for release.  Management at the hospital said 90 amendments -were proposed to the Criminal Justice Insanity Act 2006, which deals with people who have broken the law and are mentally ill.

Mental Health Act review
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 28 Jan 2008)
The Mental Health Commission is asking members of the public and those with an interest in mental health issues to make submissions on the operation of Part 2 of the 2001 Mental Health Act.  This concerns the involuntary admission of adults and children to approved centres.  In addition to the public consultation, the MHC is carrying out a consultation with relevant organisations and groups within the mental health sector.

Nurses dismiss 'yellow pack' plan
Irish Times Subscription (Sat, 26 Jan 2008)
A compensation scheme being set up by the State for psychiatric nurses, who are injured in the course of their work, was dismissed as "yellow pack in the extreme" by one nursing union last night. Séamus Murphy, of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, said while he welcomed the introduction of a no-fault compensation scheme, the plan as proposed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health would pay nurses less than 20 per cent of the compensation they would get for similar injures from the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB).

Suicide Prevention

Area does not affect suicide risk
Irish Health (Fri, 1 Feb 2008)
A major new study carried out in Northern Ireland has found that the area in which a person lives does not increase the risk of suicide.  While previous research has suggested that people from more deprived areas are at an increased risk of suicide, this research indicates that once individual and household characteristics are taken into account, the higher rates of suicide found in more deprived and socially fragmented areas disappear.


Middle-aged most likely to be depressed
Evening Herald (Wed, 29 Jan 2008)
People are most likely to feel depressed in middle-age, according to new research.  Experts found that happiness and depression follows a U- shape over a person's lifetime, with the happiest times being at the start and end of life.  During the middle years, people are more likely to feel depressed, with the peak age for depression being about 44, they discovered.  Meanwhile, pensioners can experience the same degree of happiness at 70 as youngsters aged 20. 

Personality Disorder

Number of evidence-based treatments for personality disorder is ‘alarmingly thin’
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 29 Jan 2008)
The number of evidence-based treatments for personality disorder is “alarmingly thin,” according to a leading Professor of Forensic Mental Health.  Prof Conor Duggan, Professor of Forensic Mental Health at the University of Nottingham, UK, highlighted the difficult nature of personality disorder, which prompts many psychologists to disregard treating patients suffering from the condition.