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Action on suicide prevention and Mental health

crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
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160
A question on the government policy and plan of action on the hugely emotive issue of suicide, particularly in young adult males was shrugged off with the usual statistics on funding amounts and the usual train of reports which have been written or are being created by the latest committees. There was no sense of urgency from the Taoiseach and no new commitment to doing anything extra at leaders questions today. It looks like decisions will be defered until the next report comes out next year on mental health policy. At that stage there'll probably be another report to wait for as has been the norm for mental health since the innovative 1984 report.

The former minister for Mental health Tim O'malley is now minister for disability and mental health and food safety according to the Irish Times today. It makes sense that mental health no longer warrants it's own junior ministry because of the bleeding of funding in relative terms in recent times. It was important to acknowledge disability and give it a more central role in government decision-making but it doesn't look hopefull when you consider what happened to mental health funding when it had a junior minister looking after it's interests.


There is still hope that attitudes will change; that the stigma surrounding mental health will evaporate and mean when it comes to funding it, there will be as strong a lobby as the other health sectors have. Time will tell if there is going to be action soon to really tackle the critical suicide and attempted suicide issues, the silent tragedy in irish life.
 


crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
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160
Putting the promotion of mental health on a similar footing to the strong campaigns on things like anti-smoking, and other physical healthy living concerns was emphasised yesterday by Mental health ireland on world mental health day. It's reported in the irish examiner.

The stigma is still a big problem and something that will be very difficult to tackle by keeping things in mental health promotion low pofile. That's not to say there is nothing going on to combat the stigma by voluntary groups and the health boards but it still falls short of capturing the public imagination.
 

crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
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160
Also, I think that Ireland should reinstate the office of High King.
what has that got to do with it? Or is the point you are trying to make that there is as much chance of Mental health being given some degree of priority as there is of the reinstatement of the office of the high king?
 

crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
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160
According to crosswind, there must be many suicides in Ireland.
444 people last year. It is particularly high among young men. Attempted suicides are particularly high among young women.
 

Lilac

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May 23, 2004
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136
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www.patriota.pl
Why that?
Isn´t there any psychological help offered to people in mental danger?
And what reasons for suicide are there?

In Japan, there are many suicides among children because schools put the children under a high preassure.
But why in Ireland?
 

Zhukov

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
21
A major problem with the health system in Ireland is that it lacks adequate psychological services. The less well off can have free GP care and free drugs for illness, but conditions best treated by counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy are left out of the service. One good way to combat depression would be to include some pscyhological services in the medical card scheme and extend this over time. That way those in need of help would have ready access to resources in the health service.
 

Lilac

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May 23, 2004
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Right!
Psychologists are too expensive!
When my boyfriend´s youngest sister (7) died, we wanted their mother to go to a psychologist, but they are simply too expensive!
60 Euro for only 1 meeting!
A scandal! :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

Zhukov

Member
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Oct 6, 2004
Messages
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The government have got this one wrong. Proper treatment of those with mental health problems, including psychological treatment, would have a long-term curative effect and be cheaper and more effective in the long term. Unfortunately very little government thinking on health looks beyond the next election so I don't see any imminent change on the way.
 

cleareyed

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Apr 14, 2004
Messages
43
Until it touches someone personally this issue remains on the margins. Once you have met it then you are grateful for people like crosswind who refuse to let it lie.
 

Maximilian

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Feb 11, 2004
Messages
239
Really, crosswind, 9 threads on suicide and a further 5 on mental health is enough don’t you think? And then to keep resurrecting them time and time again is more than a little boring.
 

magic_norhan

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Nov 25, 2003
Messages
67
Well you might be bored Maximilian but some of us believe that this is ahuge problem that the government is negelecting. Personally I think it's brilliant that there is someone like Crosswind who keeps raising this issue and not just hope it goes away like this Government
 

stringjack

1
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Feb 8, 2003
Messages
3,887
Well you might be bored Maximilian but some of us believe that this is ahuge problem that the government is negelecting. Personally I think it's brilliant that there is someone like Crosswind who keeps raising this issue and not just hope it goes away like this Government.
Well, what would you like to say about it?
 

olddryasdust

New member
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Messages
3
To address a few points:

Lilac said:
Isn´t there any psychological help offered to people in mental danger?
And what reasons for suicide are there?
and asks
What could be the reasons for such a high number of suicides?
To make it simple: we don't know why suicide rates are rising. That's why basic research (to acquire some proper statistical data) is needed in this field. However, the problems being referred to here (repeatedly) are not necessarily simply under the purview of the mental health sector. Most of the reasons for suicide are societal; social work services would be better placed (and believe it or not, better trained) to deal with the underlying problems.

Crosswind said:
444 people last year. It is particularly high among young men. Attempted suicides are particularly high among young women.
Can I point out here that the highest numerical part of the population committing suicide at any one time is still the elderly? Young men constitute the largest growing subgroup. This is why it's so alarming. Young men didn't used to commit suicide in the numbers they do now - at least, as far as we know (there may be masking factors and hidden variables at work here; again, we need more research).
As for the greatest 'attempted suicide' of young women referred to here, are you including the self-harm population in this figure? Because, whilst that appears similar to suicide, the behaviours constitute quite a different problem.

cleareyed said:
Until it touches someone personally this issue remains on the margins. Once you have met it then you are grateful for people like crosswind who refuse to let it lie
And I don't disagree. But it is becoming somewhat wearying to me. Every time I log in, there's a new suicide or mental health thread in the health&children forum. This forum was my prime motivator to joining politics.ie in the first place; there are other issues in health than these ones.

Even with regards to mental health - there are other emerging problems. Is anyone aware that this country has quite a high rate of schizophrenia, and that this sector of the population is also suffering because of the lack of policy direction in the mental health sector? Or bipolar disease?

What about the new emergence of infectious diseases thought to have been wiped out, closely linked to shoddy public policy on imigration? Orany of the changes the RCGP have been trying to get the government to support with regards to paediatric health? There's a lot more out there than what is being discussed here (a truism, I know).

Guess next time I'll just sit here with a copy of the medical times and start a whole bunch of threads. Heck, it may even bump up my rather measly star rating ;)
 

crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
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But it is becoming somewhat wearying to me. Every time I log in, there's a new suicide or mental health thread in the health&children forum. This forum was my prime motivator to joining Politics.ie in the first place; there are other issues in health than these ones.
It is not my intention to weary you.
What could be the reasons for such a high number of suicides?
That is a key question and like olddryasdust i would see a much greater degree of research as being required to get a clearer picture of what is going on and why. In general terms mental health problems like Depression, anorexia, Bi-Polar disorder and schizophrenia can be a factor, drug and alcohol addiction, and societal factors like olddryasdust aluded to can have an influence, but without comprehensive research it's not possible to be more specific.
As for the greatest 'attempted suicide' of young women referred to here, are you including the self-harm population in this figure? Because, whilst that appears similar to suicide, the behaviours constitute quite a different problem.
Yes, but i would suggest that self harm doesn't necessarily constitute a different type problem.
Well, what would you like to say about it?
It's not always about writing, reading is important too.
Really, crosswind, 9 threads on suicide and a further 5 on mental health is enough don’t you think? And then to keep resurrecting them time and time again is more than a little boring.
Then just avoid them. There are literally dozens of threads contributed to every week on politics.ie that i would consider of little interest to me, so i avoid them. If you look more closely at the threads i start and contribute to, there is quite a high level of reference to various announcements, statements or news articles in them, so it is an issue that is constantly changing and new angles come all the time.
 

olddryasdust

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Mar 15, 2004
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3
i would suggest that self harm doesn't necessarily constitute a different type problem.
In that it's a mental health problem, or in that it's superficially similar to suicide? If you mean the first, I agree.

If you mean the second, then I must correct you... Unless you're talking about the elderly population, the motivations and syndromes underlying self-harm are quite distinct from those of the population attempting suicide. They are different problems. Which is of interest in itself :)
 

crosswind

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Oct 15, 2003
Messages
160
If you mean the second, then I must correct you... Unless you're talking about the elderly population, the motivations and syndromes underlying self-harm are quite distinct from those of the population attempting suicide.
8000 or so people in 2002 presented at hospital and other health centres having deliberately self-harmed and of those people the majority 77%, had drug over-dosed according to the National Parasuicide Registry Ireland. I accept that there are varying degrees of suicidal intent including a number without any intent in that figure. I initially should have used the term parasuicide to be clear, my mistake. 'The peak rates for women are in 15-19 year olds' (626 per 100,000) while peak male rates are in 20-24 year olds (407 per 100,000)' -from The NPRI annual report for 2002.

There was an interesting article in the irish Times yesterday (med section) talking about the need for society to work together to be able to spot suicidal intent in behaviour.

John Waters in the Irish Times on Monday followed up his article on suicide a couple of weeks back with some descriptive comments on treating the issue of suicide more as a sociological issue as opposed to each individual instance.
 

crosswind

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Joined
Oct 15, 2003
Messages
160
The tragic suicide of Anne O'Rahilly from Limerick and the circumstances surrounding it is covered in most of todays papers and was in saturdays Irish Times and yesterdays Sunday Indo. There were a litany of failures in her transfer from one psychiatric hospital to another and a report has been made of what transpired and recommendations made. It's two years since the incident and what appears to be happening is that the only action for this report is to be part of the input into a new national report due out next year. It makes perfect sense for that to happen, but surely not all of the recommendations have to have their implementation postponed until next year?

Anne's father said he will sue the department of health. It is an unimaginably difficult road for a father to take when he has lost a child to suicide but he is going to seek justice for his daughter and also doing so "to ensure that anyone else in this type of situation is treated with love, care and respect". "we have to prevent this type of thing from happening again". (quotes from the examiner and star respectively).

There are a lot of resource implications in the report on this case being looked at by the Mental Health Commission (who may or may not have something to say about the report) and the general mental health strategy will cost money to implement, it will be informative to see what kind of allocation awaits imlementation next year in the forthcoming estimates and budgetary process and if there will be any immediate action.

mental health has been left behind in recent years when there was a lot of money put into the health services, it's allocation of the budget fell from 11% in '97 to just over 6.5% now. To prevent suicide we need specific programs but the mental health system itself and the education of people in general will also play large parts in preventing suicide.
 


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