May 4, 2007

Mental Health

Surroundings a big factor in mental health
Irish Independent Health & Living (Mon 30 April 2007)

Pleasant, well-designed hospital "facilities can have a positive effect on the mental health of patients needing psychiatric care.” The finding is confirmed in the first study of its kind to be carried out in Ireland on the impact on patients who have been transferred from old- style forbidding wards in Victorian psychiatric hospitals to modern new units. However the new study, headed by Dr Larkin Feeney of Cluain Mhuire Mental Health Services in Blackrock in Dublin, has shown how the lives of patients have been transformed when they left these institutions. The study looked at what happened after two admissions wards in old institutions closed and were replaced by a bright, modern 44-bed unit on the grounds of Kilkenny General Hospital.


Mental Health Service

Pay victory for PHN directors in Equality
World of Irish Nursing and Midwifery (Thurs, 3 May 2007)

The Equality Tribunal has found that the directors of public health nursing, an exclusively female grade, are doing work of equal value with their colleague directors of mental health nursing. This is a highly significant equal pay finding that will lift the directors of public health nursing from their current grading, which is Band 3 equivalent to just below the Band 1 directors of nursing salary scale. This is an increase of €10,900 per annum on the scale but as directors of mental health also receive performance related pay, the directors of public health nursing will also become eligible for up to another €5,000 per annum.


INO/PNA: work stoppages
Irish Times Subscription (Fri, 4 May 2007)

Timetable and locations for the latest stoppages.


Treatment cancelled due to dispute by nurses
Irish Times Subscription (Fri, 4 May 2007)

At least 49 patients who were due to attend hospitals across the State today for a range of treatments and consultations have been told to stay at home as a result of work stoppages by nurses. Nurses who are members of the Irish Nurses' Organisation (INO) and the Psychiatric Nurses' Association (PNA) will stop work for an hour from 11am at a number of hospitals and mental health facilities as part of their ongoing campaign for better pay and conditions.


Suicide Prevention

Why we must police the sale of paracetamol
Irish Independent Health & Living (Mon 30 April 2007)

Since 2003, the law relating to sales of this medication, recognised as potentially lethal in overdose, has changed as a result of evidence that it is frequently used as a drug of self-harm and attempted suicide. Around 30% of overdoses are with paracetamol as the primary agent and some 2,500 cases present to Accident & Emergency departments here each year. The drug is also associated with suicide in a number of people. While figures are difficult to come by for Ireland, 450 people in the US die using paracetamol every year.

4,000 poisoned by medicines
Irish Health (Mon, 30 Apr 2007)

Four thousand children in Ireland are poisoned accidentally each year, a pharmacists' conference has been told.
The Irish Pharmaceutical Union heard the statistic, from the Poisons Information Centre in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital, at its annual general meeting yesterday. Much of the problem is due to medicines being kept unsecured and within reach of children, the conference heard. Few incidents are fatal. The Beaumont Poisons Centre says 70% of the calls it receives each year related to medicines taken wrongly.



Avoiding the cycle of depression
Irish Medical Times, (Fri, 27 April 2007)

Dr John Wallace examines how to achieve remission in depression and to avoid further episodes. The true lifetime risk of depression is higher than previously thought, he reports scribed for the three main stages of depression management that include the acute, continuation and maintenance periods of antidepressant treatment.

Depression in new mums is now rampant
Evening Herald, (Mon 30, April 2007)

The number of women who have suffered post-natal depression (PND) could be two to three times higher than was previously estimated, research shows. It is generally estimated that lOpc of new mothers suffer some kind of depressive illness — yet in a new study 20pc of women said they had needed treatment for PND after giving birth. The survey of 500 mothers was commissioned by the Royal College of Midwives to tie in with Midwifery Week, which starts today.

Depression, amongst Irish people is a stark reality
Health Living & Wellbeing, (Tues, 1 May 2007)

Depression, amongst Irish people is a stark reality in a new study. The study carried out by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD) has published some startling results. One-in-eight adults have used sedatives, tranquilisers, or anti-depressants at some stage in their lives. The study also found that a quarter of Irish citizens on State Benefits have t
aken sedatives, tranquilisers or anti-depressants (STADs), twice the national average.



Mind Matters
World of Irish Nursing and Midwifery, (Mon, 3 May 2007)

Dementia is becoming increasingly common in Ireland and it is predicted that the number of cases here will almost double within the next 20 years. Dementia, or chronic cognitive impairment, is an umbrella term used to describe a group of symptoms that affects the brain. It is one of the most challenging conditions and symptoms such as cognitive impairment, behaviour difficulties, personality changes and aggression can occur. Dementia limits the individual's ability to cope and as yet there is no cure available.



Cannabis users risk paranoia and psychosis: study
Irish Examiner, (Thurs, 3 May 2007)

Scientists have shown for the first time how cannabis users can become paranoid and lose grip of reality. A study revealed that the drug's most powerful active ingredient reduces activity in a part of the brain that helps keep people sane. The inferior frontal cortex acts as a check on irrational thoughts and prevents inappropriate behaviour. But brain scans carried out on a group of volunteers showed that tetrahydrocannabinol or THC — the chemical responsible for  a cannabis "buzz" — dampens activity in the region. This was borne out by the results of psychological tests, which revealed signs of temporary psychosis.