October 10, 2008

Mental Health

People urged to watch their mental health
Irish Times (Fri, 10 Oct 2008)
People were today urged to consider the importance of mental health on what is World Mental Health Day. Today marks World Mental Health Day, which is designated a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation that has members and contacts in over 150 countries.


GAA stars urge young men to open up
Irish Examiner (Fri, 10 Oct 2008)
Some of the GAA's biggest stars have joined forces in an online campaign urging young men suffering from depression and other mental health issues to speak out about their personal crisis. Football captains from Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim are set to appear on video messages avail- able at youth support group www.SpunOut.ie to encourage young people suffering from mental health concerns to open up about their situation.


Mental Illness

Mentally ill: 60% wait a year or more to get help
Irish Examiner (Mon, 6 Oct 2008)
More than six out of 10 people with a mental health illness experienced symptoms for more than a year before getting help, a survey has shown. It also found that patients experienced an overwhelmingly negative reaction to a mental illness diagnosis — more than half said they felt afraid; 40% felt ashamed and 30% were embarrassed. The study, commissioned by St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin as part of Mental Health Awareness Week, found there was a general lack of awareness of mental health issues.

Mental Health Service

A lack of psychologists is putting lives at risk
Irish Examiner (Fri, 10 Oct 2008)
Medical experts have warned that a serious short- age of psychologists could lead to a repeat of incidents like the Monageer tragedy where Adrian Dunne murdered his wife and two children before taking his own life.  The "vast majority" of mental health teams across Ireland are failing to employ the minimum number of psychologists and social workers trained to prevent at-risk individuals from taking their lives, they say.


Mental health funding 'eroded' – MHI
Irish Health.com (Thu, 09 Oct 2008)
The largest voluntary mental health organisation in the country has expressed serious concern about the lack of coherent planning within mental health services and the diversion of promised funding.  According to Mental Health Ireland (MHI), during the so-called Celtic Tiger years, mental heath services saw their share of the health budget decline steadily. Today, in proportionate terms, this share stands at about half of what it was 20 years ago.


Disability funds 'diverted' – DFI
Irish Health.com (Thu, 09 Oct 2008)
At least €83 million that was allocated to disability and mental health services has been diverted by the HSE to other areas since the beginning of 2007, the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) has said.  According to the federation, much of this funding was intended to provide basic services such as residential, day care and respite places for people with disabilities.


Pledge to fight CMH relocation
Irish Health.com (Thu, 9 Oct 2008)
The Irish Mental Health Coalition (IMHC) has pledged to continue its efforts to stop the relocation of the Central Mental Hospital to a site adjacent to the new prison at Thornton Hall in north Dublin.


Dual diagnosis services poor in Ireland..
Irish Health.com (Mon, 6 Oct 2008)
A new campaign, which aims to highlight the cost – both personally and financially – of treating people with an addiction and a mental health problem, has been launched.  Dual diagnosis is the term used when a person suffers from both a substance addiction problem and another mental health issue, such as depression or an anxiety disorder.  It is currently unknown how many people suffer from dual diagnosis in Ireland, however internationally, it is estimated that between 37% and 100% of people with an addiction also have another mental health problem.


Suicide Prevention

How suicide has touched almost half of teens
Irish Examiner (Wed, 8 Oct 2008)
According to the Irish Examiner/MRBI I poll, 47% of Irish teenagers surveyed know someone in their age group who has at- tempted or succeeded in suicide.  The figure is higher in girls (54%) than boys (41%) and less likely in Connacht/Ulster (36%) than any other area.  "The figures don't surprise me," says Geoff Day, the director of the HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP).  "Ireland has a relatively average general suicide rate, but across Europe we're fifth highest in terms of youth suicide."


Paracetamol sold in shops may be rationed to four pills
Irish Daily Mail (Thu, 9 Oct 2008)
Shops, supermarkets and petrol stations may soon be banned from selling paracetamol in packs containing more than four tablets. Fianna Fail has agreed to the measure in an attempt to reduce the numbers of people who kill themselves by taking an overdose of the painkiller.  However, while paracetamol in packs of more than four will only be available in chemists, information leaflets on the tablets advise that up to eight a day can be taken.


Calls to NI suicide prevention helpline on increase
Irish Times (Mon, 6 Oct 2008)
The number of people contacting a Northern Ireland helpline for those at risk of suicide or self harm is growing steadily, the organisers of the service said today.  Lifeline said today its counsellors fielded more than 30,000 calls to the 24-hour helpline since it was established in February.



Music reduces depression in pregnancy
Irish Health.com (Thu, 9 Oct 2008)
Listening to soothing music can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy, the results of a new study indicate.


Studies show St John's Wort as good as Prozac
Irish Times (Wed, 8 Oct 2008)
Herbal extract St John's Wort can be as good at lifting depression as pharmaceutical drugs such as Prozac, a study has found. A review of research evidence concluded that the extract was as effective as standard antidepressants but had fewer side effects.