December 14, 2007

Mental Illness

Mentally ill more likely to smoke
Irish Health (Tue, 11 Dec 2007)
People with mental illness are three times more likely to smoke, and experts say not enough is being done to help this vulnerable group quit .The report from the mental health charity SANE in Australia called for urgent action to introduce quit smoking programmes and supports for people with a mental illness.

Why states should fund lithium research
Irish Times Subscription (Thu, 13 Dec 2007)
Under the Microscope: Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a severe psychiatric disorder. It is characterised by alternate periods of euphoria and deep depression, writes Dr William Reville.  For half a century now the symptoms of this disorder have been successfully treated by lithium salts. New findings now indicate that lithium salts may also be used to treat various neurological ailments including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, the psychotic disorder of schizophrenia and to reduce the effects of stroke.

Suicide Prevention

Suicide rate higher here than in North
Irish Independent (Fri, 14 Dec 2007)
Ireland has a worse record of non-illness deaths than its neighbouring nations, it emerged yesterday.  The toll is 40pc higher here than in England and the suicide here was 21pc more than the incidence in Northern Ireland.  The trend will be discussed at a seminar on the subject in Dublin today.  These deaths refer to fatalities from those other than disease or illness.  They would include falls, drownings, poisonings, and traffic accidents.

Revealed: Risk factors in teenage suicide
Irish Examiner (Thu, 13 Dec 2007)
Shocking levels of teenage depression, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse — all significant risk factors for suicide —were exposed by research published yesterday.  The Cork Counselling Centre said its research, gathered during a suicide prevention project in schools, has highlighted the urgent need for the introduction of targeted programmes to help teens at risk of suicide.

Service for those who died by suicide must find bigger venue
Irish Times Subscription (Mon, 10 Dec 2007)
A remembrance service for people who died by suicide will have to move to a bigger venue for the second time because of the demand for bookings from bereaved families.  More than 600 people attended the fifth Christmas Celebration of Light service organised by support group Console in the college chapel of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, yesterday. 

Mental Health Service

'Staff ban hitting mental healthcare'
Irish Health (Fri, 7 Dec 2007)
Psychiatrists say they are seriously concerned about the HSE's current embargo on recruitment, as it will directly impact on service delivery to patients.
The Irish College of Psychiatrists pointed out that many psychiatric patients are extremely vulnerable, requiring immediate and comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team, so it is inevitable that patients will be affected by this embargo.

Patient burials are defended by HSE
Evening Echo (Fri, 7 Dec 2007)
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has defended its role in overseeing the burial of long-term institution patients at a graveyard near Kerry Pike. The executive was reacting to criticisms voiced by mental health activist John McCarthy, who in recent days has spoken out on the practice of burying former residents of State psychiatric institutions without immediate next-of-kin at Curraghkippane Cemetery. 

seeks more healthcare for homeless

Irish Times Subscription (Wed, 12 Dec 2007)
The Simon Communities of Ireland have called for wider specialised healthcare for the homeless after the charity's annual review revealed that 55 people who used its services last year died prematurely.  Citing research showing that 90 per cent of those living rough have physical health complaints and almost half have mental health problems, the organisation said healthcare services for the homeless were "patchy" and in some places "non-existent".


Depression care and diabetes
Irish Health (Fri, 7 Dec 2007)
Treating some patients with diabetes for depression may help prolong their lives, according to new US research.  Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania divided 584 patients aged 60 to 94 with depression, including 123 who also had diabetes, into two groups.  One group received normal care from primary care doctors, including drug therapy, counselling, or both.