August 1, 2008

Mental Health
Irish scientists shed light on cause of mental disorders
Irish Independent (Fri, 1 Aug 2008)
Irish researchers have played a key role in developing new information on understanding schizophrenia. People suffering from schizophrenia are far more likely to carry rare chromosomal structural changes of all types, particularly those that have the potential to alter gene function, according to the research involving scientists at Trinity College Dublin.

Befriending service reaches out to victims of breakdown
Nationalist & Munster Advertiser (Sat, 26 Jul 2008)
A mental health breakdown is a lonely and socially isolating experience but a "befriending" project based in Clonmel is endeavouring to reach out to such people to help them regain their confidence and become active in society again. The South Tipperary Befriending Service based at San Raphael on the Western Road is a volunteer led project set up by South Tipperary Mental Health Association about four years ago.

Equality law for mental health sufferers
Irish Examiner (Tue, 29 Jul 2008)
A Survey of businesses in the south-east has found employers feel that employment equality legislation serves as a barrier to the employment of people with mental health problems. According to research undertaken by Waterford Institute of Technology and the Health Service Executive, employers feel they may experience ' employment legislation, health and safety, and insurance issues if they were knowingly to employ someone with a mental health difficulty.

Psychiatric inmate is refused release 'for own safety'
Irish Independent (Sat, 26 Jul 2008)
The High Court yesterday ruled that a review board in the Central Mental Hospital (CMH) was entitled to refuse to release a man found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity but who is no longer regarded as having a mental disorder. In a case exposing a defect in new mental-health laws, the court found that the Mental Health (Criminal Law) Review Board acted within its powers in refusing the man's release, given its view that enforceable conditions on his release were necessary but the law provided no means of enforcing any conditions.


Mental Health Service

Cuts must not affect vulnerable says Carey
Clare Champion (Fri, 25 Jul 2008)
Cuts must not affect crucial health initiatives such as suicide prevention programmes for people throughout the country, according to Deputy Joe Carey. Addressing the East Clare Young Fine Gael branch recently, Deputy Carey highlighted the important issue of suicide prevention following reports that more than 600 people in Ireland are thought to die through suicide annually.

Relocation of mental hospital opposed
Irish Times (Wed, 30 Jul 2008)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The Government has been urged to consider the children of Central Mental Hospital patients in its plan to move the facility to the Thornton Hall prison site.  The Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children visited the site in north Co Dublin yesterday and expressed concern at the visiting arrangements.

Children of 14 admitted to adult psychiatric hospitals
Irish Examiner (Fri, 1 Aug 2008)
Mental health services have been described as a "national disgrace" after it emerged that almost 200 children were admitted to adult psychiatric hospitals last year. A report submitted to the Government by the Mental Health Commission said some children admitted to adult institutions are as young as 14 and this has an adverse effect on their wellbeing.

Budget target forces HSE to cut back by €1m a month
Irish Independent (Mon, 28 Jul 2008)
Health chiefs in the west have ordered spending cuts of €lm a month just to stay in budget this year. The plan to cut costs is largely dependent on axing travel and subsistence costs right across the board, but also involves scaling back in secretarial services and training.

Section of Mental Health Act was unconstitutional
Irish Medical Times (Sun, 27 Jul 2008)
Ed Madden, BL, looks at a recent decision of the Irish Supreme Court in which the Court declared a section of the Mental Health Act, 1945 to be unconstitutional.

Suicide Prevention

Bebo is playing a role in helping prevent suicide
Evening Echo (Mon, 28 Jul 2008)
Information on Bebo has been viewed by 35,000 young people. The National Suicide Prevention Office (NSPO) hopes the initiative will help it to reduce the national rate of suicide by 10% by 2010, an Oireachtas Committee heard. Official figures show that there were 409 suicides in 2006 and 11,000 cases of deliberate self-harm. NSPO chief Geoff Day said: "Our own profile and the HSE profile for mental health information on Bebo have received 35,000 hits.

HSE cannot predict if suicide reuction target will be met
The Irish Times, (Fri, 1 Aug 2008)
A senior official with the Health Service Executive (HSE) said yesterday it was very difficult to predict whether the Government’s target of reducing the national suicide rate by 20 per cent by the year 2012 can be achieved.  Dr Patrick Doorley, national director of population health with the HSE, told the Oireachtas subcommittee on suicide that “target setting is a very, very inexact science” and to some extent it was “guesswork”, but the HSE was working with other groups to try to achieve it. Whether the target could be achieved was “very very difficult to say”, he added.

CD for schools aims to reduce teen suicides
Evening Herald (Mon, 26 Jul 2008)
A CD on suicide prevention has been launched by a group of volunteers in order to help reduce the huge number of such deaths occurring in Ireland. 'Facing up to Suicide – A Pastoral Perspective' is expected to reach out to those affected by suicide or severe depression. The Awareness Education Office has targeted young children and teens by sending out over 4,000 information leaflets to primary and secondary sch
ools. The volunteers are hoping the CD will have a dramatic effect on the current trends of severe depression and suicide.