May 9, 2008

Mental Health

Anti-bullying project wins top award
Irish Times Subscription (Fri, 9 May 2008)
Students from Ennis, Co Clare, have been named Young Social Innovators of the Year for their anti-bullying project. Students from Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney, Co Cork, and St Joseph's, Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, were joint runners-up. The students from Westmeath focused on suicide and depression among young people. They encouraged local establishments to hang posters on the back of toilet doors and their work will soon feature on RTÉ's Nationwide programme.

New mental health campaign launched
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 5 May 2008)
A new campaign to challenge attitudes to mental health will be aired today. The National Disability Authority (NDA) will unveil the second phase of its television, radio and bus shelter programme to highlight the plight of everyday people who may be suffering in silence.

Mental Health Service

Psychiatric nurses' dispute goes to LRC (Fri, 9 May 2008)
Unions and management are to meet at the Labour Relations Commission today in a bid to resolve the increasingly bitter psychiatric nurses’ dispute. Patient transfers and ward closures hit hospitals across the State yesterday. Patients at Dublin’s Central Mental Hospital were locked in their rooms yesterday morning because of a staff shortage.

Acute mental health unit closed
Irish Times Subscription (Thu, 8 May 2008)
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has closed the Lakeview Acute Mental Health Unit at Naas General Hospital as a consequence of the ongoing dispute between the psychiatric nurses' unions and the HSE. In a statement late yesterday afternoon the HSE said it was taking the "regrettable" decision to close the unit because it could not "deliver continuity of care in a safe environment".

Plan to phase out smoking in psychiatric hospitals
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 5 May 2008)
The government intends to phase out smoking in psychiatric hospitals under new "best practice" guidelines for the sector supported by the Minister of State for mental health. While these institutions are currently exempt from a ban on smoking in the workplace, it is understood that consideration will be given to removing this exemption should this prove necessary. The revelation of the plan to phase out smoking in psychiatric hospitals comes as recent industrial action by over 8,000 psychiatric nurses seems set to escalate in the coming days.

Prisons 'cannot cope' with mentally ill
Irish Examiner (Sat, 3 May 2008)
Prisons cannot deal with a huge rise in the number of people with mental illnesses being sent to jail, a conference heard yesterday. The Prison Officers' Association (POA) conference was told that the problem had arisen because of the closure of psychiatric institutions and the failure to set up community facilities for former patients.

Suicide Prevention

Court rejects acne drug firm's bid to halt case
Irish Examiner (Wed, 8 May 2008)
The Supreme Court has rejected a bid by a pharmaceutical group to stop a father bringing a case against it alleging wrongful death following the suicide of his 20-year-old son. Liam Grant claims his son, Liam Juniors, suicide was a side effect of his use, for the treatment of acne, of the drug Roaccutane, manufactured by RP Scherer Ltd company, based in England, and promoted and distributed here by Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd.

Eating Disorders

Families 'not to blame for children's anorexia'
Irish Examiner (Sat, 3 May 2008)
Families have been blamed for far too long for causing the eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, in their children, a mental health expert has claimed. Dr James Lock, a US psychiatrist specialising in adolescence, said there was no evidence to support the view parents were to blame. But, he pointed out, it was because parents were held responsible that they were being totally excluded from being involved in caring for their afflicted offspring.