Caoilte O Broin, who was found in the River Liffey on January 2, after going missing on December 29, 2015
You may recall an anonymous article published on Joe.ie, entitled ‘My brother says he wants to kill my family and no one can help us‘ in early December.
The piece was written by Catriona O Broin about her brother Caoilte, who suffered from mental health problems and extreme psychosis for several years.
He was found dead in the River Liffey on January 2.
In yesterday’s Sunday Business Post, the paper’s health editor Susan Mitchell reported:
Catriona said the family made numerous efforts to engage with Caoilte’s psychiatrist, but were unsuccessful. They repeatedly tried to have him committed. They were unsuccessful in that too. Caoilte refused in-patient care and they were left powerless.
Catriona said a key problem they encountered was the difficulty in getting care for someone with a dual diagnosis like Caoilte.
Dual diagnosis is the terms used when a person suffers from both a substance abuse problem and another mental health issue such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Catriona said that because Caoilte drank heavily, the doctor insisted that nothing could be done to help him. But he drank “because he was in pain”, she said.
Dual Diagnosis Ireland said most mental health services in Ireland will not treat both conditions. For example, if you have difficulties abstaining from alcohol due to depression, you cannot enter most rehabilitation services. Yet you cannot get your depression treated until your addition to alcohol has been addressed.
“It’s a postcode lottery depending on where you live or whether you have private health insurance,” said Carol Moore, co-founder of the charity Dual Diagnosis Ireland.
“Eighty-five per cent of people with an alcohol addiction also had a mental health problem; yet the vast majority cannot access the mental health service.”
The O Broin family are angry at a mental health service they believe failed them – and their brother.
“His death marks the end of a mental health battle lasting many years and punctuated by repeated failure of the HSE to provide adequate help, as well as outright refusal to listen to or cooperate with our family’s appeals for support. I fully believe their brazen negligence played a role on several levels in his ultimately avoidable death,” wrote Caoilte’s brother Daniel on his Facebook page.
The HSE is aware of this story. In a statement, it said, “We take the death of anyone known to our services very seriously. For reasons of privacy, we don’t comment on individual cases.”
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Thanks Shane Gillen