The Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre, North Great Charles Street Dublin 1
John Connors, Christy Moore and Bressie helped launch a position paper on Traveller Men’s Health. Research shows that men in the Travelling community suffer more from depression, low self-esteem and discrimination.
The Pavee Point organisation wants a national strategy to address the suicide rate among the male Travelling community, which is almost seven times the national average.
Research published a decade ago showed Traveller men’s lives were 15 years shorter that the overall male population in Ireland. Pavee Point says there is nothing to suggest that has changed.
The Traveller advocacy group Pavee Point has welcomed the news that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has resolved to support the recognition of Traveller ethnicity.
Mr Kenny said on Wednesday that the Government would begin taking steps towards the recognition of Traveller ethnicity in the new year.
The Taoiseach said he had asked Minister of State at the Department of Justice David Stanton to prepare a report for the social affairs committee on the question of recognising Traveller ethnicity. The report is expected in a few weeks.
You Jung Han (top) and Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre (above)
You Jung Han, 36, from South Korea, was found dead in the Kinsale Road direct provision centre on Tuesday night.
She was the mother of a six-year-old boy who is now in care.
Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (Masi) write:
This is You Jung Han… the lady whose life was cut short by the shortfalls of the system of direct provision leaving behind a 6-year-old boy. How you may ask? The system pushed her to a depressed state and she took her own life by hanging herself.
She is not alone in that state, a lot of people are wallowing in depression in different centres. Do we sit down and continue to watch while more incidents like this reoccur? Or do we pick up our voice and raise awareness to what is really happening to people behind the scenes of DP.
Masi believes that what affects one affects all… asylum seekers voices needs to be heard. WE ARE HUMANS TOO. Our heart goes out to the little boy… what does the future hold for him now? May You rest in peace.
The truth of it is that I’ve spent a large part of the past 20 years bitten by the black dog, but I think more people have than will ever let on, but much of the time is spent ‘keeping the best side out’. The days of either being mad or sane are thankfully over, & if we sat down for a chat we’d probably find that we’re only as mad as each other.
I don’t expect many people to watch this to be honest, nor does it matter one way or another. My only hope is that it might find its way to somebody in the darkness, and possibly bring them some bit of light along the way.
Trevor Murtagh was the only child of Seamus and Carole Murtagh of Dundalk, Co Louth.
A busy political activist and writer, Trevor graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a masters degree in Psychoanalytical Studies.
He took his own life the day after his 29th birthday.
In Village magazine, where Trevor interned, Trevor’s cousin Jon-Paul Faulkner documents the family’s struggle to get him help in a system that made things worse.
I was living up in Dublin. Trevor was at home in Louth. We were close cousins who had lived next door to each other our whole lives – he was my brother really, to be honest. Trevor, apart from my Mum, was the closest person in my life, he was my family.
I always thought Trevor was fine, he was honestly the most positive and encouraging person I had ever met, he seemed to have a philosophy on life that was all about living and having fun and loving. In all my life I never once heard Trevor say he disliked anyone, and that was the kind of person he was; it was the kind of person I aspired to be.
Whenever I felt down, I’d be really quiet; Trevor was the opposite: he could always talk ‘til the cows came home and was really outgoing. This made me think that Trevor was happy.
He had changed a little since he had had a bout of depression in 2011, just after he finished his Master’s in Psychology. His family and friends knew about it. He was still Trevor, positive and outgoing, but when we’d go socialising he would sometimes be more hyperactive than usual, talking non-stop, but still so, so much energy, so outgoing, clever, and apparently happy.
I got a phone call from his parents to say Trevor had been admitted to hospital. His friends had found a suicide note crumpled up in a basket and he had been hospitalised. I couldn’t believe it. It came as a complete shock.
I had seen him the previous weekend, and he seemed ok, though not his usual cheerful self, certainly a bit quieter than usual. Trevor was admitted to hospital on 20 June 2014 and was discharged nine weeks later on 22 August.
It took me a long time to write this, mainly because we wanted to wait until Trevor’s inquest before telling our story, and that didn’t happen until 3 November 2015, but also because, going through in detail what happened to Trevor during his stay in hospital is so, so painful for me: I don’t want to remember him that way.
I think of Trevor from the moment I wake up to when I lie in bed at night, but I try to remember the real Trevor, the happy one – of those memories I have so many. The perverse images of Trevor, once so full of life, lying in a coffin, these memories come to me and I struggle to push them away and think of happier times.
Trevor’s family, and particularly his Mum, Carole, struggled in vain to get help for her only child. We thought we were lucky that Trevor was actually admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but unfortunately we were not lucky with a minority of his healthcare professionals, including his head consultant. His mental health actually deteriorated during his stay in hospital.
When I came in to the hospital that evening of 20 June it broke my heart. It was surreal; Trevor wasn’t Trevor, he was manic, he was so distressed, he kept rubbing his fist against the side of his head, “there’s nothing, there’s nothing in here”, he was saying. “I’m nothing”. It didn’t make sense, Trevor thought he had nothing in his head, nothing to say, the guy could talk for two hours straight about most topics, he was an intelligent guy! He was also saying he had no friends, yet Trevor had such a huge number of friends, and they were ‘real’ friends, they all really loved him, and they were from all walks of life.
Trevor was delusional. I tried to comfort him. “Trevor”, I said, “look, you’re going to get better, trust me, these doctors are the best in Europe, this is one of the best hospitals in Ireland, they’re going to find out what’s wrong with you and you’re going to get better, soon, trust me!”.
But I was wrong, and it didn’t take long to realise it.
Yesterday evening I shared a story about my struggle over the past 10 years with depression and trying to encourage others to open up and talk to friends and family.
In 12 hours its been shared a few thousand times and watched over 200,000 times and I am getting so many positive comments from friends,family and strangers.
[Dublin radio station] Spin1038 shared it off their own back and it made me think maybe I should reach out to news outlets I read every day. I am a big reader of Broadsheet and think the video (above) and article [link below] could help some people. Thank you.
I am writing on behalf on my friend Lisa Naylor, who is too unwell to write herself. Lisa has been battling depression and an eating disorder for many years, and has been surviving quite well until recently. Four weeks ago her community team diagnosed her with a major depressive episode and recommended that she goes into inpatient care to maintain her own safety, as she is extremely suicidal and has tried multiple times to end her life.
She has tried both the public and private system and due to overcrowding and paperwork, four weeks later she is at home alone all day every day fighting every minute to survive. She is tired and has given up. She no longer wants the pain of life and cannot keep begging for help only to be turned away at every avenue.
Below is a copy of an email she sent three days ago to the Minister for Health and the Mental Health Commission.I, and all of Lisa’s loved ones are praying and fighting her case as best we can and would really appreciate if you could highlight this issue.
My name is Lisa Naylor, I am 30 years old and I suffer from depression and an eating disorder. I have been struggling with this current period of illness for over a year and have attempted suicide multiple times and been hospitalised twice; once in John of Gods and once in Lois Bridges. I am currently under the care of Coolock Mental Health Clinic, and have been put under home care as I was seen as too unwell to attend my local day hospital.
Four weeks ago I advised my registrar that I could no longer see a way out of my depression and could not guarantee my safety. After extensive interviews with my doctor, nurses and a local consultant it was decided I needed a short stay in hospital in order to ensure my safety and give my mind a rest from the constant struggle with my self harm and suicidal impulses.
Luckily, I have health insurance, and referrals were immediately sent to St John of Gods and St Patrick’s Hospitals asking for admission for a major depressive episode. In the last four weeks I have spent my days fighting against every fibre of my being to give in to the never ending voices in my head, urging me to end my pain.
I have been self harming almost daily and spend hours face down in a toilet, forcing myself to throw up whatever I have eaten. I feel no joy, I feel no contentment, I feel nothing but self loathing and pain. All day, everyday.
I have been told that as a result of my eating disorder I must wait until the end of May for an assessment in St Pat’s, that I cannot be given a bed to keep me safe until after this date. St John of God’s refuses to answer multiple phone calls and voice mails about an admission.
I have been advised that the public ward in Beaumont is not an option as they are at crisis point. My very dedicated HSE team have literally run out of options and can give me no answers or reassurances.
I am 30, I am suffering, and I have nothing left to give. It took everything I had to tell my doctor how I felt and it was all for nothing. I am going to die because I asked for help and nobody answered.
I am not sending you this email for pity, or dramatic effect, but to highlight the fact that something is very wrong with our mental health system. I am going to die because of paperwork. Please, do not let this happen to someone else.
Andreas Lubitz competing in a Lufthansa marathon in 2013
…To conclude that his [Andreas Lubitz] role in the [Germanwings] crash was the automatic consequence of any history of mental illness would be irresponsible and damaging. There has been no suggestion that males should be prohibited from becoming pilots, that Germans are unfit to fly, or that 27-year-olds should not be let loose in the cockpit. Only one factor has been picked over: Lubitz’s mental health.
The truth is that people with depression are all around us – they are our teachers and solicitors; our plumbers and health professionals. Data obtained following a recent freedom of information request revealed that more than 40,000 NHS staff took sick leave as a result of stress, anxiety and depression in 2014. Up to 20% of those are likely to be medical doctors; indeed, doctors are significantly more likely to experience depression than the general population. Having depression does not necessarily make you unfit to work, but, based upon the headlines in many of today’s papers you could be forgiven for thinking that it does.
Maximus Thor, a Home-Alone-era-McCauley-Culkin-looking white kid with superior lip-dub skills and the soul of an angry black man shares his thoughts on the pressures facing ordinary folk living life on the daily.