May 11, 2007

 Mental Health

Mental illness needs range of treatments, says expert
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 7 May 2007)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a wonderful therapeutic advance, but it should not be regarded as a panacea for the treatment of all mental illnesses, a conference in Dublin was told. Dr Michael McDounagh, consultant psychiatrist and cognitive behavioural psychotherapist at St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, warned that CBT is not a replacement for biological treatments such as medication and ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) and it should be part of a multidisciplinary approach.

Women need a better deal on health
Irish Medical Times (Tue, 8 May 2007)

The Minister for Justice, Mr Michael McDowell, has launched his Department’s new National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016. The Government’s strategy outlines a plan of action to ensure equal pay is finally reached between men and women; to increase the number of women in decision making positions; to try to promote gender equality in the media; to end inequalities in accessing health services, and improve women’s health in general, and end the discrimination women still face in many aspects of their lives.

New TCD Chair of Psychiatry delivers inaugural lecture
Medicine Weekly (Wed, 9 May 2007)

A greater understanding of the biological basis of psychiatric disorders will ultimately lead to a reduction in the unnecessary use of medication, a leading professor of psychiatry has said. Delivering his inaugural lecture as Chair of Psychiatry at TCD recently, Prof Michael Gill explained that the prediction of treatment response facilitated by a greater biological understanding of psychiatric illnesses would also lead to the early identification of those at high risk, facilitating early interventions and preventive strategies, new rational biological treatment targets and an overall reduction in the stigma associated with mental illness in Ireland.

Stress of carers highlighted
Irish Times Subscription (Wed, 9 May 2007)

More than a fifth of carers are suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression while more than half are under severe strain, an unpublished study carried out by the HSE has found. The study, which was presented by Siobhán McEniff, carers development officer with the HSE North West at a carers' conference in Dublin yesterday, recently won first prize at the 12th Congress of International Psychogeriatrics Association in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms McEniff told the conference that carers of geriatric patients in Sligo, Leitrim and Cavan were invited to take part in the study and 100 took part.

Pulling their own strings to make a real difference
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 7 May 2007)

Since the start of the school year, more than 5,000 teenagers around the State have dedicated hundreds of hours to their friends and neighbours through projects created for the Young Social Innovators (YSI) programme, which encourages people aged 15-18 to collaborate on projects that raise public awareness and lend assistance to people and causes in need. According to YSI chief Rachel Collier, who founded the programme in 2001 along with Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, the students don't shy away from tough topics. "This year we have a lot of projects related to mental health and suicide” she says.

Suicide Prevention

World suicide meeting for Kerry
Irish Health (Thu, 10 May 2007)

A major international conference on suicide will be held in Co Kerry this August.
It is the 24th Biennial Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and will happen between August 28-September 1 in Killarney. President McAleese, who is patron of the Irish Association of Suicidology, said: "The deliberations of this conference are vital in highlighting the increasing incidence of suicide, the single largest cause of violent death throughout the world."

Mental Health Service

Hospital environment can affect prescribing rates
Medicine Weekly (Wed, 9 May 2007)

A new study has confirmed that the hospital environment can have a significant impact on the experiences of patients with mental illness and even influence the prescribing of medication. The study, which compared acute admissions to two local, stand-alone psychiatric hospitals with admissions to a new purpose-built psychiatric unit on the grounds of Kilkenny General Hospital, showed that the move in March 2003 from the psychiatric hospitals to the unit had a direct impact on the experiences, care and outcomes for patients.

Health Service

A training initiative on intercultural healthcare is being implemented by the HSE to help management
Medicine Weekly (Wed, 9 May 2007)

A training initiative on intercultural healthcare is being implemented by the HSE to help management and staff clarify what exactly constitutes discrimination and racism. In addition to being tutored on the profile of immigration to Ireland and the entitlement to healthcare for various groups, the HSE management and staff will also learn about the differences in belief about the sources of illness and nature of treatment settings, as well as explore cultural clashes in the provision of health and social care. Migrant workers in the HSE would also be helped to better understand Irish culture.

Pay cut threat provokes nurses into all-out action
Irish Examiner (Fri, 11 May 2007)

The HSE threat to dock militant nurses' pay has provoked unions to escalate industrial action by holding work stoppages at all public hospital and mental health facilities next week. Last night, both the Irish Nurses' Organisation (INO) and the Psychiatric Nurses' Association (PNA) said their decision to impose stoppages next Wednesday was a direct response to the HSE threat to cut nurses' salaries by 13% in the dispute, now in its sixth week.

Consultants set for industrial action
Irish Times Subscription (Fri, 11 May 2007)

The results of a ballot for industrial action by hospital consultants will be revealed this evening. The consultants, who are members of the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association (IHCA), are expected to vote in favour of action that will cause further disruption in the health service. Their action is in response to a decision by Minister for Health Mary Harney and the HSE to advertise 68 new posts on terms which have not been agreed.