Mental Health in the Media
The last week has proven to be a busy ‘media’ time for psychiatrists, psychiatry and the College in print, broadcast and social media. Many items were covered this week: Youth Mental Health, CAMHS, General Mental Health Services, Recruitment, Retention, Resourcing, Work Environments, and Attitudes and Processes in the HSE. The College contributed to a number of media outlets on these topics.
Dr Maeve Doyle Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, spoke on behalf of the College to Mary Wilson on RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime show, 21/06/18.
Over 6,000 children are waiting for a Child and Adolescent mental health appointment, 1186, waiting over a year. The recent resignations of Consultant psychiatrists in the south east region have exacerbated the situation.
On the programme the previous day, Minister Jim Daly, discussed the possibility of ‘telepsychiatry‘ as one solution for the current crisis; “an opportunity to deliver mental health services online”.
Dr Maeve Doyle, said she “finds it difficult to see how this would work, particularly with children aged 5 – 18… where therapeutic engagement is very important”. CAMHS is multidisciplinary, normally two people meeting with the family, for example an occupational therapist. To involve telepsychiatry would lose the multidisplinary service, and inhibit exploring “all facets of the child’s presentation.”
Dr Doyle said there are huge pressure points around the country, and not just in the south east due to lack of investment in child psychiatry. What investment there has been is ‘not sufficient’. Only 6% of the budget for health goes to mental health, and less than 10% of that budget goes to CAMHS, when CAMHS makes up 25% of the population now. Teams for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services work under pressure due to under staffing, leading to insufficient services and treatments.
Dr Maeve Doyle said there are a number of factors regarding the recruitment of psychiatrists: “The College of Psychiatrists of Ireland has done an extraordinary amount of work in order to recruit to psychiatry.” Child Psychiatry is a “very difficult area to work in../ is reliant on other tiers of service being populated” and due to shortages in other areas the work lands on the Child psychiatrists to manage.
President of the College, Dr John Hillery spoke about his reasons for resigning from the HSE after 30 years.
Dr Hillery spoke at a Family Carers of Ireland conference. A press statement, which you can read here, was issued highlighting some aspects of his presentation including his reasons for resigning from the HSE after 30 years. This was picked up by several media outlets.
Dr Hillery, along with GP and RCSI spokesperson Prof Susan Smith, spoke to Sean O’Rourke on RTE Today with Sean O’Rourke.