August 3, 2007

Mental Health

Soldiers have mental health problems
Irish Health (Thu, 2 Aug 2007)
Prolonged active service with Britain's armed forces is leading to mental health problems, according to a new study.  Research has shown that an increase in the pace of military operations may have an effect on soldiers' health and can place strain on families.  A study carried out at King's College in London assessed whether active service deployments in excess of recommended UK armed forces guidelines, calculated at 13 months over a three-year-period, had an effect on psychological health.

Suicide Prevention

Alcohol prominent in young male suicide, TD says
Irish Health (Fri, 27 Jul 2007)
The vast majority of young men who die by suicide in Ireland have alcohol in their systems, according to figures released today. Dan Neville, a Fine Gael TD and leading campaigner against suicide, based his comments on the fact that alcohol appeared in the bodies of 93% of young men who had taken their own lives in counties Louth, Meath and Cavan in 2001-2002.

Ahern to take interest in efforts to cut suicide
Irish Times Subscription (Sat, 28 Jul 2007)
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is to take a "strong personal interest" in efforts to cut Ireland's suicide rates by 20 per cent over the next five years, following a meeting with organisations campaigning on the issue. The meeting took place after Mr Ahern was criticised in some quarters for telling the Irish Congress of Trade Unions that he did not know why some of those complaining about the economy did not commit suicide. Emphasising the Government's commitment to cut the death toll, Mr Ahern, who was accompanied by Minister of State for Health Jimmy Devins, said he "looked forward" to detailed proposals from the Suicide Alliance.

Children as young as 10 have suicide wish, says report
Irish Examiner (Mon, 30 Jul 2007)
Children as young as 10 are expressing a desire to kill themselves, often as a result of sexual abuse, according to new data. The annual report from Children At Risk in Ireland (CARI) also outlines concerns over the huge number of "inconclusive" child sexual abuse assessments and fears over waiting times for psychological assessments. The report shows a growing number of cases involving non- Irish nationals. In regard to children expressing suicidal thoughts or "suicidal ideation," the report states that "this issue has been coming more to the fore" and claims lengthy waiting lists for child psychiatric services is adding to the problem.

'Tackling the suicide problem needs a national partnership approach'
Irish Examiner (Sat, 28 Jul 2007)
Ireland is experiencing a crisis of suicide. On average 500 people die every year as a result of suicide. Significantly, we have an alarmingly high rate of suicide among young males, from adolescents to 30 years of age. It is estimated that about 11,000 people present themselves at Accident and Emergency Units each year, having self-harmed. This group is at a particularly high risk of suicide. It is undoubtedly true that there are many more cases of attempted suicide than are reported.

STOP put forward as nominee for national awards
Leitrim Observer (Wed, 1 Aug 2007)
The invaluable work being carried out by the Dromahair based organisation STOP (suicide, teach, organise, prevent) has been recognised by both Eileen Carr of Rehab and local MEP Marian Harkin who nominated the group for the Quinn Healthcare People of the Year Awards. The group must now wait for the list of nominees to be whittled down to the final six before they know whether or not they will be receiving an award.


Most victims of depression slow to talk about it
Irish Independent (Tues, 31 Jul 2007)
Nearly two-thirds of people suffering from depression would be reluctant to discuss their condition with .family and friends, a new survey reveals.  And despite almost one in ten of the Irish population suffering from the illness at any given time, over 80pc of people questioned said depression was not well understood.  'Mind Yourself – The Lundbeck Mental Health Barometer' published yesterday also reveals that depression is ranked as the third most disruptive medical condition when compared with other illnesses.

People fear depression more than cancer: study
Irish Examiner (Tues, 31 Jul 2007)
People fear depression more than cancer when they think about the disruption the illness would cause in .their lives.  Research by the Lundbeck pharmaceutical company found people believed depression would also be more disruptive than even life-threatening illnesses like Parkinson's or heart disease.  Only Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia were rated as more disruptive.  The findings were the result of a survey of 1,059 adults across Ireland in March this year •which also shows that most people believe there is a stigma attached to depression.

Stress causing depression in 30-somethings
Irish Health (Thu, 2 Aug 2007)
Stress at work has been blamed for depression, the latest in a long line of ailments caused by tension and misery on the job. A British study of a thousand people in their thirties found that nearly half, at 45%, of cases of depression were due to stress at work. A stressful job was defined as one with long hours, lack of individual control, more work than could be achieved in a time frame, and strict deadlines.


Cannabis link to schizophrenia supported
Irish Health (Fri, 27 Jul 2007)
A link between smoking cannabis and schizophrenia has been boosted by new British research.  Cannabis use made people at least 40% more likely to develop schizophrenia, according to a review published in the Lancet medical journal.  The review assessed a large number of previous studies into the effects of cannabis. The study also found that at least 800 people in the UK are suffering severe psychoses after smoking the drug.

County Mayor launches Lucia Week
Longford News Tues, 31 July 2007)
Last Wednesday, a large crowd turned out for the launch of a significant mental health publication. As part of Schizophrenia Ireland's (SI) Lucia Week, the national schizophrenia awareness week, Longford County Mayor Peggy Nolan launched the organisation's hew document, entitled 'Your Choice: Lifestyle, Medication and Recovery' at Longford County Library last Thursday.  According to John Saunders, Director of Schizophrenia Ireland, one of the most common issues for people who experience poor mental health is the absence of treatment options: "Generally speaking, medication is the preferred option of most Irish psychiatrists, and in many areas is the only real choice available to users of the public health services."

Mental Health Service

Relocation project for mental health services be
Irish Examiner (Tues, 31 Jul 2007)
The relocation project for a learning disability unit in Carlow has got underway, with a sod-turning ceremony on the grounds of St Dympna's Hospital, Kelvin Grove is a learning disability unit attached to the Health Service Executive's mental health services in Carlow/Kilkenny. Local community services health manager Anna Marie Lanigan and mental health and elderly care services manager Mary O'Hanlon officiated at the sod-turning ceremony, while staff and management were also present.