August 5, 2011


Mental Health Service

Patients continue to be admitted
Irish Examiner (Friday, 05 August 2011)
The closure of Victorian-era psychiatric institutions has been official Government policy for more than 40 years, yet hundreds of mental health patients still remain in outdated, unsuit- able buildings. Those who remain in such facilities are the elderly and often the most vulnerable patients.

5m drug prescriptions for mental health a year

Irish Examiner (Friday, 05 August 2011)
More than five million prescriptions for powerful drugs to treat depression, psychosis, anxiety or lack of sleep are being written every year, costing in ex- cess of €110 million, official figures have revealed. The true extent of so-called "pill-popping" in Ireland, however, is much more as the only figures recorded are for medical card holders and people claiming through drug payments schemes, which accounts for less than half the population.

Drugs too prevalent in our system
Irish Examiner (Friday, 05 August 2011)
AT the end of 2009 1,478,560 people were entitled to hold a medical card. This represents something around a third of the population. During that year alone, more than 6ve million prescriptions for anti-depressants, sleeping tablets or medication to help relieve anxiety were written for this group. If demand for these medicines is as high among the rest of the population,  that could represent something over 15 million prescriptions aimed at helping people recover emotional or mental stability in just one year.

Two-year wait for new Beaumont psychiatric unit
Fingal Independent (Tuesday, 02 August 2011)
North Dublin psychiatric patients will have to wait at least two years before a new acute admissions unit at Beaumont Hospital is completed, the Fingal Independent can reveal. The male and female acute units at the St Ita's Hospital, which took in 800 patients last year, will shut on August 31st under the direction of the Mental Health Commission.

Court clears way for doctors to treat mentally ill woman
Irish Times (Saturday, 30 July 2011)
A High Court judge, in a ruling described as “a very substantial development in mental treatment law,” has made orders allowing doctors to administer certain treatment to a seriously psychiatrically ill woman against her wishes.

Cork Independent (Thursday, 28 July 2011)
The Minister with responsibility for mental health has said she agrees "in principle" with bereaved Cork mother Una Butler's call for spouses to be involved in the treatment of mentally ill patients. However, she said patient confidentiality could be at risk, adding that this is being explored in an ongoing comprehensive review into the Mental Health Act 2001.

Cork Independent (Thursday, 28 July 2011)
The Oireachtas Justice Committee has called on members of the public to have their say on the proposed new Mental Capacity Bill to be introduced later this year. Under the chairmanship of Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, the Committee this week called for submissions on the proposed changes to mental capacity law in Ireland.

Suicide Prevention

Samaritans launches suicide awareness initiative with GAA clubs
Cork Independent (Thursday, 28 July 2011)
Samaritans Cork has launched an initiative in partnership with GAA clubs in the city and county to help reduce the incidences of suicide. The focus of the project is to highlight what each person can do in order to help others who are in distress and despair.