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Tag Archives: mental health

‘I Hid it so well. No One Knew’

Ennis woman Irene Hehir shares her struggle with depression in the hope of helping others to seek help.  IRENE Hehir describes herself as an “everyday girl living in the town of Ennis”. She has a good life, she has a good job, she has a great family and a great network of friends, but behind it all she was struggling with her mental health. To everyone who knew her, including those closest to her, the now 42 year old, was “Happy go Larry”, “the life and soul of the party”. Her outward life was about being seen to be “having the craic”, “being pure bould, carrying on and having a laugh”. But inside she was in turmoil. Her parents, extended family and friends, who have always been so supportive, didn’t know any of this was going on. In her early teens Irene was systematically bullied, and a physical assault which rendered her unconscious left her in constant fear. Although she …

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Safeguarding adults in health care

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are today (Wednesday) hosting a seminar in the Law Society of Ireland on the safeguarding of adults in health and social care services. The seminar, Adult Safeguarding: Promoting Rights, Health and Wellbeing, aims to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable, and provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss how Ireland can better promote the rights, health and wellbeing of people at risk of abuse or harm. Addressing over 200 delegates, HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn announced that HIQA and the MHC are developing joint national adult safeguarding standards. “These standards aim to minimise and prevent the abuse and neglect of at-risk adults. This must surely be our aim, every bit as much as reporting and investigating abuse when it takes place”. Mr Quinn added, “These standards are just one part of the solution, however. The State must acknowledge its responsibility to protect …

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Coping With the Pressures of Farming

Teagasc and Mental Health Ireland (MHI) have launched a joint publication called ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’. It will be a valuable reference for those dealing with farmers on a day-to-day basis, such as agricultural advisors, vets, DAFM officials, banks, suppliers, accountants and solicitors who must be aware of the mental health impacts of financial burdens and other issues affecting the mental health of rural dwellers. It will also be a valuable resource for farm families. Mairead McGuinness MEP, who launched the new publication on the Teagasc stand at the National Ploughing Championships, said, “This is an important and timely publication. It provides the tools to allow farming families to identify the symptoms of persistent stress, but more importantly what to do about it.” She continued, “I commend those involved in compiling this comprehensive booklet and urge farming families to use the information and supports outlined in it and learn how to recognise the symptoms of stress and take …

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Suicide strategy to assist gardaí to help others

THE introduction of a new three-year suicide prevention strategy will provide greater assistance to Clare gardaí in their work to help those suffering from psychological distress. In relation to the new Connecting for Life Suicide Prevention Action Plan, steering group member Chief Superintendent John Kerin said, for the first time, this gives gardaí more of a focus as to who in communities can help people suffering from acute distress. “Previously, gardaí were often the first responders and there really wasn’t a great follow-up. But now, getting involved in the Connecting for Life process, we understand all the agencies that can help,” he said. Superintendent Kerin said virtually every garda in the Clare division has completed training in the area of suicide prevention and awareness. Acknowledging that gardaí have engaged in acts of self-harm and have died by suicide, Superintendent Kerin said garda management is very aware of this issue and noted that a 24-hour independent service is available to gardaí …

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EU focus on ageing

Minister Helen Mc Entee is in Brussels today (Tuesday) to address a conference on Active Ageing and Mental Health. She is there on the invitation MEP South Deirdre Clune and the conference was organised by the European Peoples Party and Mental Health Europe. A group of about 40 MEPs and key representatives from European mental health and active ageing organisations are at the conference, which is being addressed by various experts from around Europe. The main theme of the one day conference is ‘Ensuring opportunities and participation in society at all ages’ – and relevant policy issues covered included why active ageing matters, the European dimension of active ageing, and Mental Health and Active Ageing in the workplace. Discussions are centring on how best EU countries can progress this important issue over coming years, particularly given looming demographic pressures.

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Mental health petition deliver to Dáil

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee has confirmed work is underway on a roadmap for improved out-of-hours access to mental health services. On Wednesday, the minister received a petition of almost 12,000 signatures from Shari McDaid, on behalf of the Mental Health Reform, A Lust for Life, Uplift and Future Voices at Leinster House. The campaign is calling for the delivery of Holistic, 24/7 community based crisis mental health services across Ireland. Minister McEntee said,”Improving access to mental health services is a key priority for me as minister and work is underway in this area. Anyone who needs help should be able to get it. We need to ensure that seven-day access is in place, across the country, before we move towards the provision of 24/7 access. We must walk before we can run. “I am glad to say that specific actions are in place around many of the issues raised in the petition. For …

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Consultation on new homecare scheme

A consultation process in respect of establishing a new statutory homecare scheme is to launched in a matter of months, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee has announced. Also a review by the Health Research Board (HRB) of the way in which homecare services are funded and regulated in four other European countries, which was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2016, is to be published shortly. Minister McEntee said, “My priority is to ensure that our older people get the best care possible. For many that care can be provided in their own homes, surrounded by the people and communities that they love. Unfortunately, as a country, the only statutory scheme we have in place at present to care for our elderly is the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, a Fair Deal. I am determined to change this and to establish a new statutory homecare scheme. “Homecare is an increasingly important part of the …

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Shannon marks the summer solstice

Few people celebrate the summer solstice these days but a special event will take place in Shannon to mark it this occasion. “Shannon Mental Health Association and SkyCourt Shopping Centre are combining to hold a summer solstice event to promote positive mental health. It’ll be in the Food Court at SkyCourt on Monday, June  from 9pm until around 11.30pm. There will be music and entertainment and refreshment. “The idea is to promote good mental health. The solstice has been identified by Mental Health Ireland nationally so the Shannon branch is having this local event. People will be given cards and they can write their wishes for their mental health and well-being on them for the coming year,” Tony McMahon, PRO of the Shannon Mental Health Association, outlined. Tony added, “It’s a social event, a sort of a get-together, a celebration of mental well-being. There won’t be anything therapeutic but there will be information available about Mental Health Ireland.” Speaking about the Shannon …

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