June 15, 2007

Mental Health

Mental health group looks to gain ground
Echo – Tallaght (Sat, 9 June 2007)
A Brookfield-based mental health group is calling on people in need of support to come along to its meetings. Gaining Ground was established in 2003 by a Tallaght employment agency in order to give locals with mental health problems a medium to help each other. Project worker Rose Kinahan explained that the group feels they are ready for more members after almost four years in existence. She said: "At the moment the group meets once a month. It does not offer therapy as such but is more of a social outlet for people suffering with mental health issues.

At last, a cure for everything?
Sunday Times News Review (Sun, 10 June 2007)
At last, a cure for everything? At last, a cure for everything? Scientists have pinpointed some of the mutant genes that contribute to our commonest diseases. But when might such breakthroughs have results? Jonathan Leake reports.

'Homeless mental care not addressed'
Irish Health (Thu, 14 June 2007)
A new study has said much more needs to be done in Ireland to provide psychiatric services for the homeless mentally-ill, and has revealed gaps in current mental health care for the homeless. The authors say mental illness and the need for psychiatric services remain a serious issue for a significant segment of the homeless population. Researchers from Dublin's Mater Hospital studied 628 patients with mental health problems, including patients attending A&E, outpatient clinics and in-patients over a six month period.

Suicide Prevention

Traveller worry after spate of suicides
Irish Examiner (Wed, 13 June 2007)
Traveller groups yesterday joined the Bishop of Killaloe in expressing their deep worry after three young Travellers took their own lives in the space of two weeks in Ennis, Co Clare, and a further three tried to kill themselves. A man and woman, both 18, and a 22-year-old man have taken their own lives while two men in their late teens and a man in his late 20s also made attempts on their lives in the same period.

Bullying and illness blamed as thousands take their own lives
The Times (Sat, 9 June 2007)
Japan began a campaign to prevent suicide yesterday after record numbers of children, women and elderly people were revealed to be taking their own lives. The Cabinet announced plans to cut suicides by 20 per cent by 2016, after figures showed that the country’s improving economy had failed to dent the number of people killing themselves. The proposals promise new efforts to deal with unemployment and personal debt, more workplace counsellors and community psychiatrists, and public campaigns to raise awareness of mental illness. For the ninth year in a row, more than 30,000 Japanese took their own lives last year. The number of suicides – 32,155 – was down fractionally from 32,552 in the previous year, but far higher than predicted, given the considerable improvement in Japan’s economic prospects.

Stars chip in for charity golf fundraiser
Irish Examiner (Thu, 14 June 2007)
Sports stars will tee off tomorrow to raise funds to help finish a crucial two-year study on suicide prevention. Cork hurling star, Jerry O'Connor, Munster rugby hooker, Frankie Sheahan, and Kerry football defender, Tomas O Se, are among the stars taking part in the National Suicide Research Foundation's (NSRF) golf classic at the Lee Valley Golf and Country Club in Cork. Money raised will help the NSRF implement their intervention study, which aims to increase awareness of depression and suicidal behaviour. Based on a similar project which reduced suicide in Germany, the NSRF launched its study in Cork and Kerry in 2005. Funding for the first two years was provided by the EU, the Health Research Board and the Irish College of General Practitioners. But now it is only partly-funded by the EU.

Mental Health Service

Consultant psychiatrists forced to develop ‘quasi approved centres’
Irish Medical News (Fri, 8 June 2007)
Consultant psychiatrists are being forced to provide “quasi approved centres” for patients with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems because of the lack of facilities for patients who need inpatient treatment, it has been claimed. Speaking to IMN, Dr Philip Dodd, consultant psychiatrist and Chair of the Learning Disability Faculty with the Irish College of Psychiatrists, said he is aware of a situation where a patient with Downs Syndrome had become psychotic, however, it was not ideal to send the patient to an approved centre. He said if properly resourced teams were in place such a situation would happen less frequently.

Health Service

Department publishes output results for first time
Irish Medical News (Fri, 8 June 2007)
For the first time, each Department of Government will be publishing information on their performances as set against their targets under new provisions set out by Brian Cowen. Under the reform of the estimates and budget processes announced by the Minister for Finance in the 2006 budget each Department has to produce an output statement. The output statement for the health group of votes (Department of Health, HSE and the Office of the Minister for Children), the first of its kind, was submitted to the Select Committee in February and the purpose of the statement, according to the Department of Health is to “help to align money voted to outputs and eventually to outcomes”.

Cabinet to decide on assault compensation for health staff
Irish Medical News (Fri, 8 June 2007)
A planned compensation scheme for healthcare workers attacked during the course of their duty is in limbo as it awaits Cabinet approval.
A Labour Court ruling has thrown plans to offer redress to staff assaulted in hospitals and healthcare institutions into doubt, by stating that the system should cover post-traumatic stress disorder. The ruling comes in the wake of a case taken by around 40 psychiatric nurses who claim to have been affected by post-traumatic stress.

Self Harm

What is self-harm?
Health Living & Wellbeing (Fri, 8 June 2007)
Self-harm is a very serious condition that affects many people, and takes a lot of understanding and patience. It is usually a way of expressing very deep distress. Often, people don't know why they self-harm but it's a means of communicating and expressing what can't be put into words or even into thought and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, people feel better able to cope with life again, for a while. Self-harm brings a sense of control.