October 5, 2007

Mental Health

Two few staff hampers mental health care
Irish Health (Mon, 1 Oct 2007)
A lack of psychologists and specialist staff generally, are the biggest limitations on mental health care in Ireland, according to a leading psychiatrist. Patricia Casey, professor of psychiatry at UCD and consultant at Dublin's Mater Hospital, spoke to irishhealth.com after presenting a report on experiences of patients suffering from  depression and bi-polar disorder.  The Living With Mental Illness in Ireland survey was co-sponsored by help group Schizophrenia Ireland.

Growing up in the public eye
Sunday Tribune (Tue, 2 Oct 2007)
Before they met at a small lake in Omagh, Co Tyrone last week, 24-year-old Nick Jameson and 20-yearold Barry McGlade knew each other only through an online chat forum.  They had arranged to meet at the lake and take their own lives together.  Their first face-to-face encounter came just a few minutes before killing themselves. Through the internet, these two young men had found a peer group encouraging them to take their own lives.  Their story is, of course, an extreme case of the changes in society wrought by the internet.  But for everyone . . .from six-year-olds logging on to doll sites, to young people keeping up with their friends online, to the darker extremes of bullying and online sex games and the dangerous liaisons of anorexia and suicide sites . . . the internet is changing the way we socialise today.

Creative thinking
Irish Examiner (Fri, 5 Oct 2007)
Starting tomorrow, Mental Health Week aims to encourage people to take time out from their busy daily lives and focus on something different.  Relaxation, creativity, gardening — whatever it takes to help you forget about the mundane routine and spend some time on yourself.  Organised by Mental Health Ireland (MHI) the aim of this week long campaign is to create awareness about positive mental health and the skills we can learn to enhance it.  Patsy O'Brien, Developmental Officer for MHI in Limerick, says it is important that everyone is aware of the need for good mental health.  ."


Making a call on suicide
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 1 Oct 2007)
Mind Moves: Young people find it hard to talk about suicide, but hearing about it these days as frequently as they do, they may benefit from a safe way to engage with this subject.
I experienced a remarkable event last week in St David's Secondary School, Greystones, Co Wicklow, where transition year pupils were presented with the issue of suicide in a way that was courageous, sensitive and skilfully managed. The school had invited Team Educational Theatre Company to stage a one-hour play, Last Call , to the transition year, and to engage them in a post-production workshop to explore the issues it raised.

College to host debate on coverage of suicide
Evening Echo (Sat, 29 Sep 2007)
The media's reporting on suicide cases will be the focus of a debate being held at University College Cork on October 8.  The UCC Philosophical Society will be tackling the issue with the motion 'That This House Would Condemn the Media for Reporting on Individual Suicide Cases'.  The society will be joined by Fine Gael TD Dan Neville, above, president of the Irish Association of Suicidology and noted suicide awareness campaigner; Dr Tony Bates, former senior psychologist at St. James's Hospital and Colm O'Gorman, founder of One in Four.

Claremorris seminar encourage fresh thinking on suicide prevention
Western People (Tues, 2 Oct 2007)
With suicide statistics scarily increasing all the time, a prevention seminar has been organised for Claremorris this month.  On Wednesday, October 17, at 8.30pm, Dr Jim O'Donoghue (Clinical Psychotherapist and Director of Castle
bar Counselling and Therapy Centre) will host a public lecture on suicide prevention in the Mc William Hotel, Claremorris.  At the lecture, Dr O'Donoghue will deal in greater detail with news of a difference in the matter of suicide prevention locally, nationally and internationally.

Mental Health Service

Major problems reported with mental health reviews
Irish Medical News (Fri, 28 Sep 2007)
According to the IHCA’s annual report, its Psychiatric Nego¬tiating Group continues to meet with senior management in the Mental Health Commission, and while arrangements have improved, there is still a significant degree of dissatisfaction among psychiatrists at the disruption to services to the vast majority of patients who are not involuntarily detained, and who are not subject to the new legislation.

HSE urged to rethink plans for mental hospital
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 1 Oct 2007)
Mental health campaigners have called on the Government to rethink plans to move the Central Mental Hospital to north Dublin after it emerged that the project will need rezoning and planning permission.  Local politicians have also signalled their intention to vote against the project if it comes up for consideration before Fingal County Council.  Council officials have told the HSE that the proposal to move the hospital in Dundrum to Thornton Hall in north Dublin will require a variation of the county development plan, a spokeswoman confirmed yesterday.

Information booklet for people with mental illness
Cork Independent (Tues, 27 Sep, 2007)
New information booklet outlining the mental health services available in the South Lee area in Cork was launched earlier this week. The guide has been produced to raise awareness of the services available to adults with mental illness and contains information on assessing patients for treatment, outpatient services, day centres and day hospitals, inpatients and community services provided by the Health Service Executive South.  It also includes information about accommodation, employment, education, addiction, counselling and sup- port services available from voluntary and community groups.

No central fund for psychiatric patients
Irish Medical Times (Wed, 3 Oct 2007)
Concerns have been ex-pressed to Irish Medical Times that no central fund appears to exist to allow psychiatric services to fight High Court and Circuit Court cases in relation to involuntary detention of patients.  IMT has been told that individual psychiatric services are running up legal bills of hundreds of thousands of euros each and there is a possibility that, unless a central fund exists, such organisations may be forced to turn up to future High Court cases without legal representation.

Seven-year planning process for child psychiatric unit
Medicine Weekly (Tue, 2 Oct 2007)
The new child and adolescent psychiatric unit planned for Cork will not now open until the end of 2009 — seven years after the initial planning process got underway, Medicine Weekly reports.  In March 2001, the first report of the Department of Health Working Group on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recommended that a total of seven child and adolescent in-patient psychiatry units should be developed throughout the country to cater for children ranging from 6 to 16 years of age.

Emergency care plan for children not to be affected
Irish Examiner (Thurs, 4th Oct 2007)
Long-delayed plans to introduce 24-hour emergency care for at-risk children won't be affected by the current recruitment freeze, say HSE bosses. But it has already been two-and-a-half years since the tragedy that prompted calls for the service and it will be at least several months before services are up and running.  The after-hours cover was pledged to be set up in response to the amount of murder-suicide cases involving parents and their children in recent years.  Meanwhile, it has emerged the HSE break- even policy has also delayed prevention training for suicide resource officers because of a ban on booking external venues for the courses.