Twitter Print Advertisement Facebook WhatsApp NewsHealthCampaign demands better service for mental healthBy Bernie English – August 1, 2020 134 Linkedin Email LIMERICK’S high rate of suicide has prompted ‘Stand Up For Mental Health’ activists to demand more services in the city and county.The group unfurled their new 14-foot banner over Thomond Bridge on Friday evening to highlight what they describe as “the lack of mental health services in Limerick.”Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up In a statement, the group said, “Limerick city now holds the shameful 2019 national record for the highest rate of death by suicide.“The Covid-19 pandemic has no doubt compounded the mental health crisis we already have.”Activists say that the inaction of Limerick City and County Council, the HSE and other relevant authorities has helped to flare the crisis.Geraldine O’Loughlin said, “The World Health Organisation made it clear that any response to the pandemic must include a specific and co-ordinated approach to mental health services during and in the aftermath of it. We have seen no response so far and vulnerable people are suffering alone.“We urge LCCC and the HSE to respond to this crisis at a local level. Special measures need to be put in place for Limerick to stop the loss of lives through suicide. They cannot continue to kick it down the road and blame the lack of a national response. There is clearly no political will at national level to take action, so local authorities should lead the way and put supports in place themselves.”The SUFMH-Limerick campaign are calling for an on-call mental health crisis counsellor to be made available immediately, to deal exclusively with people who are in mental distress.They are also campaigning for a proven mental health programme to be implemented into all schools when they re-open, as they sayyoung people in particular are in need of supports to deal with the isolation and anxiety they are experiencing.The campaigners say they will not rest until action is taken to address the mental health crisis in LImerick.The HSE has previously pointed out that there is a crisis service available.In a statement to the Limerick Post, the HSE said, “The Mental Health Services provide a number of pathways for people in crisis. We always encourage people who need support to contact their GP in the first instance.“People who already use mental health services can contact their local service or key clinician if they are in crisis. The service also has a crisis service in University Hospital Limerick which operates through the Emergency Department.“Anyone using this service is followed up by the appropriate community mental health team. It is important to remember that admission to an acute facility is only one way for people to access the help they need,” the HSE statement concluded. Previous articleLockdown spike in calls to rape helplineNext articleCalls for change in law as dog theft numbers continue to spike Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news.
Oct 21, 2008 (CIDRAP News) Drawing on the expertise of more than 150 health experts, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit health advocacy group in Washington, DC, today released a report designed to help the next president and Congress reform the public health system to improve the nation’s health and emergency preparedness. Levi said the report, “Blueprint for a Healthier America: Modernizing the Federal Public Health System to Focus on Prevention and Preparedness,” contains recommendations that came from a yearlong consensus-building effort among the 150 experts. The report also includes a number of public opinion surveys on Americans’ perceptions of natural disaster and disease threats. At a press conference today, Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of TFAH, told reporters that the country is losing ground on battling preventable diseases such as diabetes and obesity and could stall in its efforts to prepare for a pandemic or other public health emergency. “We believe Americans deserve better, and these problems place us at a competitive disadvantage,” he said in introducing the 119-page report. A public opinion poll included in the new report found that 78% of Americans believe that a major foodborne disease outbreak will occur again in the next 5 to 10 years, that 65% believe protecting the nation’s food supply should be a primary government responsibility, and that 88% are concerned about the safety of imported food products. In the report, TFAH projects a $20 billion annual shortfall in funding for critical public health problems. Establishing a stable funding stream though various options outlined in the report would require increases of $12 billion at the federal level and $8 billion at state and local levels. Levi said both of the major presidential candidates are concerned about the nation’s public health problems and have said new solutions are needed, as described in recent articles in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). One option could include a “wellness trust”an independent entity that would fund public health activities and infrastructure improvements with the support of public health agencies and private insurers. TFAH also suggests creating a matching requirement for state and local recipients of new public health funding and private-public partnerships at the state and local levels. A $20 billion funding gapLevi emphasized that the TFAH “blueprint” proposes a public health and preparedness strategy that doesn’t depend solely on the federal government but envisions critical roles for state and local governments. He said some of the key themes of the blueprint are holding funding recipients accountable for progress and results and making prevention a cornerstone of the nation’s health, not just an afterthought. TFAH has recommended that federal officials create a single food safety agency to improve oversight and the efficiency of tasks such surveillance and foodborne illness outbreak response. Bill McInturff, partner and cofounder of Public Opinion Strategies, which also conducted polling for the TFAH report, told reporters that Americans are anxious to hear about solutions to public health problems. “The normal partisan breaks get clearly fuzzy,” he said. However, public health concerns will battle for attention and funding, especially given the difficult economic environment. “The issues will have to fight for their piece of the pie,” he said. Among several specific suggestions for influenza pandemic preparedness, TFAH recommends developing a “Pandemic Vaccine Research and Development Master Plan,” setting more ambitious goals for producing a pandemic vaccine, streamlining the licensing process for flu vaccines, implementing a nationwide system to track the use, safety, and efficacy of vaccines, and increasing the federal stockpile of antiviral drugs to enable it to treat 25% of the population. Pandemic and emergency preparednessThe report urges the next administration to ensure that emergency preparedness is part of the health reform debate. Levi told reporters that strengthening surge capacity is “the single biggest and hardest issue for health preparedness.” TFAH report on modernizing public health The report recommends that the next president appoint a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary who has a strong understanding of public health, name a public health task force within 90 days of taking office to help set short- and long-term national health goals and make policy recommendations, and issue an executive order that makes improving the nation’s health a priority. Oct 9 NEJM article on John McCain’s health reform viewshttp://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/15/1537-a Food safety considerationsMany of TFAH’s recommendations for improving the nation’s food safety system were detailed in a report that the group released in April. In that report, TFAH highlighted several problems with the nation’s current food safety system, including an underfunded Food and Drug Administration (FDA), outdated laws, and safety responsibilities that are spread among 15 different federal agencies. See also: Alan Quinlan, president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, said at the press conference that opinion polling on behalf of TFAH suggests that 51% of Americans think the country is somewhat prepared for a major disaster such as a hurricane, but not as well as it should be. “In the back of their minds they’re hoping that the government is ready. It’s a soft confidence in government that we are prepared,” he said. Oct 21 TFAH press release To make best use of federal resources, TFAH recommends that the next administration designate a single official at HHS to oversee all emergency preparedness activities and ensure coordination across other federal agencies that have a role in preparedness. Apr 30 CIDRAP News story “Health group urges overhaul of US food safety program” Oct 9 NEJM article on Barack Obama’s health reform viewshttp://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/359/15/1537
Jones 5-for keeps Essequibo unbeaten streak aliveBy Clifton RossAN MVP 5-wicket haul from pacer Joshua Jones saw Essequibo extend their unbeaten streak, trouncing West Demerara by 75 runs in yesterday’s 4th round encounter at Bourda.Chasing a 200-plus score, West Demerara folded for a paltry 138 in 46.5 overs despite some fight from spinner Richie Looknauth who scored 41 and former Windies U-19 keeper Tevin Imlach with 30.Essequibo’s Joshua Jones accepts the man-of-the-match trophy from GCB Assistant Administrator Selena Bacchus. (Clifton Ross photo)Travis Persaud also resisted with 25 but Jones proved to be a handful, while pacer Ronsford Beaton (2-34) and all-rounder Ricardo Adams (2-15) were the other wicket-takers.Essequibo racked up as solid first-innings score of 213 all out in 50 overs, after capitalising on their familiarity with the Bourda ground.Identical knocks of 51 from opener Kevon Boodie and the in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Kemol Savory helped lay the foundation while a few other batsmen chipped in with scores.West Demerara spinners Richie Looknauth (3-25) and Keshram Seyhodan (3-33) almost kept the champs quiet with their six wickets. A late order assault, though, from the likes of Quintin Sampson (26) and Neiland Cadogan (21) helped stretch the total.The chase began in timid fashion with the openers looking jumpy, due to the pace of Beaton, who removed national opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul (4) and Andre Seepersaud (2) within a short space of time.Opener Ronaldo Renee (5) was pinned lbw to Ricardo Adams as the innings began to go left. Looknauth looked like he needed more from his partners but got little support as the Essequibo bowlers stayed on top of the opposition.Jones’ burst and the frequent loss of wickets kept the Berbice franchise at bay for most of the chase and when Looknauth departed, it became difficult for the chasing side.The MVP Jones also recorded a hat-trick when he removed Malcolm Hubbard, Marvin Dhanpaul and Seyhodan, further flinging the innings into disarray as their team crumbled inside 50 overs.Earlier, batting first Boodie notched up another half-century, his second fifty of the match, with some mature stroke-play as he hit a solitary four and six from 77 deliveries before being bowled by Malcolm Hubbard.Seyhodan landed a double blow when he removed Marvin Williams (1) and David Williams (0), without troubling the scorers. Savory continued to look fluent this season with his stylish approach and wide array of strokes.The left-hander was crucial in the repair phases of the team following Boodie’s departure. Not as brisk as the opener’s fifty, Savory grafted an innings of grit and resilience to keep the champs firm during the middle passage.His four fours were well-placed as his focus seemed to be running between the wickets. When he departed, the captain came out and contributed 21, paving the way for Sampson and Cadogan.The two pinch-hitters added 33 runs as they picked apart the Berbice bowling, with Sampson again showing his brutal strength by hitting two sixes, one of which sailed out the ground; similar to what he did against Georgetown in the opener.After a flurry of shots and some brisk running, the pair fell but their side had already reached a winning total.Round four bowls off tomorrow across venues in the country.