November 2015: Nothing changes. One year now since I first raised the question how much does the State pay the HSE for a bed in St Vincents University hospital Psychiatric Unit. My question is simple. I know that people with severe mental health problems who are treated in the UK are billed at Stg500,000 plus per year. The suggested cost for a bed in a public psychiatric hospital is e28,000. Nobody can answer the question. The Taoiseach refers it to the Minister for Health; there is no reply. Two questions have been raised in the Dail. Where is the cost benefit analysis? A student leaves university 10 years ago and is on the revolving door of in and out of HSE psychiatric hospital, this time it is 16 months duration and they are still an inpatient. Surely, his family and the State have some obligations?
Having consistently written about the inadequate provision of mental health services since 2003, I am including a selection of articles written over the years to politicians, to health professionals, to mental health related bodies, to open publishing sites etc. I shudder because I fail to see any improvements and if anything there is a deterioration in the provision and commitment of mental health services provided for our most vulnerable people.
I will start with John Carthy, RIP – The Barr Tribunal
Dé Luain Meitheamh 19, 2006 16:15
John Carthy RIP: Shockingly, I hear there is a delay to the findings of the Barr Tribunal
Why? Is it strategic or is it Shame?
I am asking the question because of the outright inadequacy of mental health services and integrated services to cater for the needs of people with health problems particularly mental health problems.
I recall being present an Irish Penal Reform Trust meeting; a Forensic Psychiatrist and his wise words about mental health definitions. The categories of say bipolar equate the same in the outside world and within the hospital implying that a lot of what is termed Psychiatric are in fact social problems. I have written an 18 page essay dealing with this topic over two centuries (ref WordPress.com Trinity College 1997-2003 but No Degree).
Anxiety can take you by the throat and stifling every bit of stamina and energy from you. Anxiety and depression or for that matter schizophrenia can work in tandem. Listen to your patients and fight for the funding to provide an adequate medical service and perhaps have less people walking the streets and begging often due to illegal drug addiction. I have heard that if you have mental health problems in the US, you are 4 times more likely to be shot by the police.
Where is the Barr Tribunal Report? What is holding it up? Where were the social services and the doctors at the time that John Carthy was shot dead by members of An Gardai Siochana.
The Morris Tribunal has reported. Let’s clean up the act and hear what Mr. Justice Barr has to say?
Mental Health is about stigma. Suicide and mental health are closely linked. Ogra Shinn Fein and so many others are targeting suicide but really, from personal experience, a back drop of community health services with no financial charges are required to deal with the multiplicity that forms mental health and this includes addictions of all kinds; it includes our young people because the later the onset of a psychiatric illness, the better for all concerned. This is a public health problem but we have a situation in Ireland presently sanctioned by a money grabbing greedy government, of associations/charities who raise funds by activities like Balls, Running etc. This is fine but let’s get real, we are talking about a public health crisis and the need for consistency and initiative for all people.
Wake up time and patients don’t be put down. Your health and the doctors opinion is a genesis, technology has opened the door and opportunities exist.
Reform. What nonsense if the professionals you employ are so non motivated. Public health doctors are concerned about their private practice and lucrative earnings while hospital appointed registrars-my personal experience is frightening. Why can you not come up with some form of ready reckoner and grant system so that people like me with traumatic brain injury, bipolar, anxiety further complicated by chronic fatigue can have complete progressive community services rather than a situation like Baggot Street Community hospital that recognises the stigma of your illness and and basically just says welcome to the Underclass. A young woman, when I gained sufficient energy to walk there, gave me a little hope when she suggested the option, a visit to the Citizens Advice Bureau in Adelaide Road, to help me sort out some of the social problems I was encountering.
by Michelle Clarke
“While there is a lower class, I am in it.
Where there is a criminal element, I am of it.
While there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Eugene Debs (1855-1926) US trade unionist and political leader, helped found the Socialist Party of America. (Very interesting interview on internet by Bernie Sanders talking about this man – worth watching).