April 9, 2009

Mental Health Service


Psychiatrists seek to readmit patients released by tribunals
Irish Examiner (Tue, 7 April 2009)
Consultant psychiatrists are seeking fresh orders to involuntarily readmit mental health patients despite requests from mental health tribunals that these patients ,be released. , A recent report published in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine found that in a survey of consultant psychiatrists, 14% responded said they had sought to have a patient readmitted to care on medical grounds after a tribunal had ruled they should be released.



HSE is improving psychiatric facilities
Irish Examiner (Tue, 7 April 2009)
The Health Service Executive insists it is already addressing concerns high- lighted in a damning report into two psychiatric facilities in south Tipperary. On Friday, the Mental Health Commission published a 200-page report into a series of concerns at St Luke's Psychiatric Hospital in Clonmel and the nearby St Michael's unit. The report, which was concluded in June but left unpublished for nine months, warned that a series of patient safety standards were repeatedly breached in recent years at the facilities.


Insurer under fire for axing hospital cover
Sunday Times (Sun, 5 April 2009)
Quinn Healthcare, the heath insurance company owned by the entrepreneur Sean Quinn, faces a probe by consumer and health watchdogs after it dropped cover for St Patrick's hospital, Ireland's largest psychiatric institution, with almost 300 beds. Regulators fear the move, in effect since March 16, could be an attempt to walk away from the high costs of paying for psychiatric care. The average stay in St Patrick's is more than 30 days, with claims averaging €15,000-€20,000, according to VHI, Quinn's state-owned competitor. Quinn Healthcare said the decision followed its failure to reach new pricing terms with the hospital.


Report sheds new light on grim plight of mental patients
Irish Independent (Sat, 4 April 2009)
The grim plight of patients forced to live impoverished lives at two state-run psychiatric hospitals was revealed in a damning inquiry report. The probe found patients were forced to stay in their nightclothes in locked wards and some were only occasionally given what staff called "parole". The report on St Michael's Unit, South Tipperary General Hospital; and St Luke's Hospital, Clonmel, also
revealed how some residents were on long- term tranquillisers because there were no activities or alter- native treatment for them.


HSE warned psychiatric units may be closed if targets not met
Irish Examiner (Sat, 4 April 2009)
THE damning report by the Mental Health Commission (MHC) into care standards at two state psychiatric facilities has ordered the HSE to meet time-specific targets to improve patient safety — or face closure of the units. In particular, the report calls for further reductions in the use of seclusion units, improvements in staff and funding levels within the south Tipperary mental health services, closer scrutiny of. drug and clinical reports and an independent quality of life survey of all patients dependent on the system.


Child and adolescent psychiatric unit opens
Irish Examiner (Sat, 4 April 2009)
A child and adolescent psychiatric unit closed during the health cuts of the 1980s has been re-opened by the Health Service Executive (HSE). The eight-bed inpatient facility, in the grounds of St Stephen's Psychiatric Hospital in Glanmire, Cork, is an interim measure until a planned 20-bed unit, under construction in Blackrock, Cork, is ready for use. The new facility will cater for an age group for whom inpatient psychiatric services are seriously deficient nationwide.


Mental health survey pinpoints need
Galway City Tribune (Fri, 3 April 2009)
A survey of mental health service users in Galway City has identified a need to develop a clearer focus on the importance of employment for mental health service users and that consideration should be given to developing a peer support centre. The survey – called Employment and Social Support – was carried out to identify the needs of mental health service users in the Galway City area and specifically to assess the employment status of people with a mental health disability; assess the social supports available to this group of people; and assess the need for a Peer Support Centre/Service Users Forum.



Suicide Prevention


Consultant warns of 'copycat' suicides
Irish Times (Tue, 7 April 2009)
A consultant psychiatrist has warned that disproportionate coverage of high-profile suicides linked to the recession could lead to a spate of “copycat” deaths. Dr Justin Brophy, vice-chairman of the Irish Association of Suicidology and adviser to the Health Service Executive (HSE), said society was in danger of “talking itself into a crisis” about how people were coping in the face of the economic turmoil.


President warns of added suicide risk during recession
Irish Times (Fri, 3 April 2009)
President Mary McAleese yesterday underlined the need to invest in suicide-prevention programmes to help deal with the anxiety, stress and depression caused by the economic crisis.
At a conference organised by the bereavement support group Console, Mrs McAleese said it was inevitable that debts and unemployment, or the fear of it, would take their toll on relationships and on mental wellbeing.


Former Celtic Tiger executives may face higher risk of suicide
Irish Examiner (Fri, 3 April 2009)
Formerly high-flying Celtic Tiger executives hit by the recession may be at an increased risk of suicide, the founder of a charity which assists the bereaved said yesterday. Console founder Paul Kelly said: "There have been some high-profile suicides in this country as a result of the economic pressures. "During the Celtic Tiger, some extremely successful individuals in an economic sense had almost super-hero prestige associated with their financial success. When they lose this status overnight with the economic downturn, they can be particularly vulnerable, especially if this is accompanied by major debts. They can feel powerless in the face of financial ruin."



Mental Illness

Female abuse linked to severe mental illness
Irish Medical Times (Fri, 3 April 2009)
Women with severe mental illness are more likely to have been abused in childhood than the general population, new research suggests. But the same association has not been found in men.Researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, believe their findings point to differences in the way boys and girls respond to traumatic and upsetting experiences.