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National - Event Notice
Saturday January 27 2018
02:00 PM

Mental Health Care in Louth, 1918 - 2018 and Beyond

category national | disability issues | event notice author Friday December 29, 2017 15:32author by Sean Crudden - Cooley Environmental and Health Group Report this post to the editors

Where have we come from? Where are we now? Where are we going?

The 18th annual winter workshop organized by Cooley Environmental and Health Group will start at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday 27 January 2018 in The Strand, Omeath, Co. Louth. It is expected to finish at 5:30 p.m. on the same day. Anyone who wishes to stay overnight should contact The Strand as soon as possible. +353(0)429375161. The theme of the workshop is Mental Health Care in Louth, 1918 - 2018 and Beyond.

The 19th century witnessed a massive expansion in large mental asylums, with the result that following population decline after the Famine we ended up being over-subscribed with facilities. There was therefore a tendency to put the mentally ill into institutions and to leave them there. Following international trends this situation was reversed in favour of deinstitutionalisation in the last quarter of the 20th century. This, for most patients, was a positive trend, but questions have begun to emerge about whether the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction and whether deinstitutionalised patients now receive sufficient support.

This workshop will address past trends in mental health support, with particular emphasis upon Louth, and discuss what we need to do now to move forward.

The speakers will include:

Dennis Pringle, Geographer
Lisa Butterly, Historian
Michael McCreanor, Retired Psychiatric Nurse and Local Historian
Jim Walsh, Irish Advocacy Network
Sean Crudden, Secretary IMPERO

The meeting will be divided into three groups for more intense discussion on selected topics before reporting back to the main meeting. The topics for discussion are:

Depression
Services
Suicide

Professional opinion is welcome at the workshop although in a sense this will be a lay workshop. Personally I think modern professional opinion is apt to be monolithic and monotonous

Related Link: http://www.cooleyehg.org
author by Paul Ryan - Soma CelR EIREpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2017 09:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did you know that lithium ortotate is the alternative version of lithium and that orotatic acid is in human breast milk?

Related Link: http://www.kilimanjarodirect.org
author by Bengtpublication date Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sean Crudden's occasional posts about the work on mental health done by IMPERO in Louth are among the most positive material appearing over the years on Indymedia Ireland. Keep it up. There is too much cynicism and bad news on blog sites and in the commercial media. Good work quietly done and diligently reported is to be commended.

author by Sean Crudden - Cooley Environmental and Health Grouppublication date Thu Feb 01, 2018 17:12author email sean_crudden at hotmail dot comauthor address Lower Jenkinstown, Co. Louth, A91 A092.author phone 0858636391Report this post to the editors

Archbishop Michael Desmond Hynes, acting as Facilitator, welcomed everyone to this, the 18th Annual Winter Workshop of the Cooley Environmental and Health Group. Sean Crudden explained that the Workshop was originally planned as a Millennium event, and had been repeated every year since.

Dennis Pringle gave a brief presentation on the history of the mental health services in Ireland to provide some context for the following discussions.

Following this the main speaker was Lisa Butterly. Lisa gave a very clear presentation on Ardee Mental Hospital based on her much more extensive doctoral research. Lisa noted that the psychiatric hospital system established in the nineteenth century was organsised by Districts rather than by Counties and that Louth was a very small component in the much larger Richmond District centred on Dublin. Although contributing to the upkeep of the Richmond in Dublin, Louth residents had very little say in how it was run. After the Local Government Act in 1898, Louth public representatives began to campaign vigorously for a hospital closer to home in Louth. The campaign eventually proved successful and St. Brigid's hospital was opened in Ardee, with the aid of sweepstakes money in 1933. Lisa stressed how forward looking the Ardee facility was in contrast to the more custodial-orientated facilities built in the previously century.

Jim Walsh of the Irish Advocacy Network was the third speaker. Jim gave a wide ranging talk on many aspects of the care and treatment mental patients. He is a strong advocate of a holistic approach in combating mental problems. People with mental issues need to be treated as people, and not just as patients. Jim raised many interesting questions for the audience to ponder over, but stressed that he did not necessarily have the answers. However, he felt that we needed a much more outward looking approach in which future issues might be identified in advance rather than simply responded to.

The final speaker was Sean Crudden who read a short article he published on indymedia.ie 5 years ago after a visit to Enniscorthy. "We are the boys of Wexford........"

After a short break for tea and refreshments, during which some of our visitors unfortunately had to leave us, the meeting broke up into four groups to discuss three themes:

Depression
Services
Suicide.

Each group appointed a rapporteur to report back in the main body of the meeting for a more general discussion. The general discussion was lively.

A fuller report and texts may be found at the link given below.

There is a coincidence in the photo published with this article. Eamonn O'Boyle was the final chairperson of Dundalk Town Council. Leonard Hatrick is a former chairperson of Ardee Town Commissioners. Leonard appeared in many films including 39 Steps.

Eamonn O'Boyle, Leonard Hatrick
Eamonn O'Boyle, Leonard Hatrick

Related Link: http://www.cooleyehg.org
 
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