April 12, 2007

Mental Health Service

Mental health walkout 'foolhardy'
Irish Health (Tue, 10 Apr 2007)

Mental health organisations say they are watching carefully to see the effect of  industrial action in Tipperary south.

Brian Howard, chief executive of Mental Health Ireland, said he understood that emergency cover would be provided, but he stressed the need to monitor the situation. "The welfare of the patient is paramount, and we would urge all parties to work to a speedy solution of the dispute," Mr Howard said." But this is a new situation and at the moment it's in the lap of the gods, we will have to see what happens."John Saunders of Schizophrenia Ireland said the labour withdrawal was a "foolhardy approach".

 Mental Health Commission members
Irish Medical News (Tue, 10 Apr 2007)

Dr Edmond O’Dea, Principal Psychologist, HSE Mid West Area, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Mental Health Commission.

Other members include Mr Martin Rogan, Assistant National Director, Mental Health, HSE; Mr John Saunders, Schizophrenia Ireland Director; and Dr Brendan Doody, con­sultant psychiatrist, Dublin.

 New psychiatric unit sees aggression reduced
Irish Medical News (Tue, 10 Apr 2007)

Patients were significantly less likely to behave aggressively in the new acute psychiatric admission unit in Kilkenny General Hospital during 2004 than they had been in the admissions unit in St Canice’s Hospital, Kilkenny, during the equivalent period in 2002, according to a paper produced recently by the Depart­ment of Adult Psychiatry, Cluain Mhuire Mental Health Services, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

 Pessimism in staff linked to increased illness
Irish Medical News (Tue, 10 Apr 2007)

Pessimism in hospital staff has been linked to increased sickness, absence and GP attendance, which may have important implications for human resource management in hospitals, according to a recent study carried out at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin.


Eight patients to be released

Irish Medical Times, Page 1, 06-Apr-2007

The High Court has ordered the release of eight involuntarily detained psychiatric patients, according to the Mental Health Commission. The Commission revealed the information after Irish Medical Times submitted a list of questions to it in relation to mental health tribunals and subsequent High Court cases. The Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Ms Brid Clarke, said: "Applications to the High Court (Article 40) have been taken on the basis of the ongoing detention of patients. There have been 10 cases in total. The admission (renewal) order was confirmed in one case, judgement is awaited in another. Of the remainder the, discharge (release) of the patient was ordered".

 Mental Health Directorate does not 'sit easily' with structures — HSE

Medicine Weekly, (Wed, 11 Apr 2007)

The HSE has expressed its 'disappointment' at criticism levelled at the Executive by the Chairman of the Mental Health Commission, putting accusations of 'dysfunction' and 'fragmentation' down to internal structural issues. In the foreword to the Commission's recently published Annual Report, Dr John Owens hit out at what he described as the "dysfunctional management sys- tem" within the mental health division of the HSE. The consultant psychiatrist commented that services were fragmented and isolated and that "a wide gulf" remained between clinical providers and local managers, with mutual confusion.



Mental Health

 Irish voters feel offenders with mental illness should be treated rather than sent to prison
Irish Medical News (Tue, 10 Apr 2007)

A poll commissioned by the Irish Penal Reform Trust has found that the majority of voters surveyed prefer non-custodial programmes over prison for most offenders. According to the Trust, the TNS/MRBI poll showed that a majority of voters across all political parties would prefer to see most offenders diverted away from prison into non custodial programmes that add­ress the root causes of their offending and/or supervise them in the community.

 Healthy lifestyle yields big results

Irish Medical Times, Page 48, 06-Apr-2007

Dr Teresa Mitchell looks at the merits of health promotion and how it can improve the well-being of society as a whole. Prevention, she emphasises, is always better than cure – and is far cheaper The fundamental purpose of the healthcare system is to improve the well-being of society by enhancing and promoting the health of the public. Services should be advocated because of their effects on the overall health of the nation's entire population.

 Jury call for restraining belts review

Evening Echo, Page 14, 05-Apr-2007

A recommendation has been made that hospitals review the protocols governing the use of restraining belts on patients. The call was made by a jury at an in- quest in Mallow, which heard details of how a 75-year-old woman choked to death after becoming caught in a re- straining belt on a chair in a geriatric psychiatric hospital. She was Hannah Comber of Ballylopin, Ballyhea, Charleville, who died while she was a patient at Heatherside Hospital, on June 22, 2006. The inquest heard that the Director of Public Prosecutions had decided that no prosecution should be taken in the case.

 Ballinasloe group to act as town ambassadors

Athlone Advertiser, (Wed, 6 Apr 2007)

Nineteen people from East Galway with mental health difficulties will pay a visit to France this month as part of an exchange project. The group will spend a week in Chalonne-sur- Loire, which is the town twinned with Ballinalsoe.

 Psychological supports for cancer patients 'neglected'
Irish Times Subscription (Wed, 11 Apr 2007)

Up to 40 per cent of cancer patients suffer psychological distress yet the area of psycho-oncology has been neglected, the Irish Cancer Society said yesterday. John McCormack, ICS chief executive, said that between 25 to 40 per cent of cancer patients experienced some form of distress ranging from the mildest form to an illness requiring drug treatment.


EU mental health strategy imminent

Medicine Weekly, (Wed, 11 Apr 2007)

The European Commission's Strategy on Mental Health will be published in the summer, it has been confirmed. A Commission communication outlining a Strategy on Mental Health is now at an advanced draft stage and the EC is due to start the process of
approval with a view to publication by the summer of 2007, according to the EU co-funded project, SUPPORT for mental health in Europe. SUPPORT has been working over the -winter with the Commission to prepare for the anticipated EU strategy.

 Anxiety 'not easily understood'
Irish Health (Thu, 12 Apr 2007)

Research has shown that 90% of the Irish population feels anxiety disorders are disruptive conditions, believing them to be more disruptive than conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma. The study also shows that although over half of people surveyed were aware of anxiety disorders, 66% of people think these disorders are not understood, with 29% believing they are a state of mind and not an illness.



New DVD launched to aid schizophrenia patients

Irish Medical Times, Page 53, 06-Apr-2007

JANSSEN-CILAG LTD has launched a new patient information DVD entitled 'Risperdal Consta Explained'. "The primary aim of treatment for someone who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia is returning them to the state where they can function normally," said Dr Jim Lucey, Consultant Psychiatrist at St Patrick's Hospital, Dublin, in the DVD. "That is what patients and their families want most of all – to be back where they were before the illness struck." The DVD is an educational resource for use by healthcare professionals and their patients.


Suicide Prevention 

Student’s top media award
Meath Chronicle (Sat, 14 Apr 2007)

Jonathan Donohue, who grew up in Clonee, but who now lives on the Fairyhouse Road, has won the award for ‘TV Production of the Year’ at the National Student Media Awards. He won the award for his project ‘1 in 13’, which he made as part of his course in Griffith College, Dublin.

Jonathon’s documentary programme was about depression and suicide – the title comes from he fact that one in 13 college students are affected by depression.


Stress Related Illness  

SFA National Absenteeism Report
Small Firms Association (Sun, 8 Apr 2007)

A new report by the Small Firms Association has shown that small businesses in Ireland lose on average €757 million per annum through absenteeism. The report also shows that workers in small companies are less likely to miss work through illness than their counterparts in larger businesses. “Stress has arisen as a key cause of absence from work, replacing back pain, as the most commonly cited problem on medical certs”, stated  Avine McNally, Assistant Director of the Small Firms Association.