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mental health support ireland

(8 Posts)
inionbuartha Mon 30-Apr-18 12:48:01

My mum suffers from recurrent mental health issues. She doesn't have a named diagnosis but once or twice a year she has a manic episode. She has been admitted to hospital during these episodes in the past but she and my Dad are trying to avoid this if necessary, with the help of the local GP. Being admitted is not a great option as apparently officially, she needs to present at A&E, and basically be at the point of no return to get in. Then she gets totally dosed up and the recovery period is much longer than if managed at home. She has also had some very bad experiences in the hospital so it is a last resort. They have got to the point where they are quite good at spotting an attack coming and in an ideal situation, can manage via upping her dosage with the GP support and my Dad supervising her. My mum is very suspicious of medication and not very keen on sharing via counselling, which doesn't help matters.

Unfortunately, all of us children live abroad and can't give hands on-help to my Dad during an attack. He is finding it impossible to get any practical support - an attack lasts for about 10 days and for the first few, he can't sleep either and as they are getting older, it is not sustainable and he says he doesn't think he will be able to manage the next one.

They do have some support from friends, but there is only so much you can expect them to do. He says there is a lot of talk about mental health and no actual support given, but I wonder if there might be some other forums for support.

Does anyone have any information on support that might be available in Dublin? She's now a pensioner but the illness is not age related. I'm thinking of respite nurses specializing in mental health that could come in and stay with her at night while my Dad gets some sleep or gets a break in the day. They have a decent VHI package and we can also help out so private is fine. Or even some recommendations on forums or avenues for families in this situation?

OP’s posts: |
eloisesparkle Mon 30-Apr-18 16:07:57

Bumping for you.

chartreuse Mon 30-Apr-18 18:19:22

Could you or your dad talk to your mum's GP? I think they'd be in the best position to know what kind of supports would be available. There are a lot of agencies offering respite care, but some might be better than others at dealing with mental health issues. I think the GP would be able to point you in the right direction. Good luck 😊

inionbuartha Mon 30-Apr-18 18:47:00

Thanks, they do have a good relationship with the GP and they are the ones giving the prescriptions during the attacks. I'll check if they have specifically mentioned respite care to them. My Dad and sister just keeps saying they've asked for help but there is nothing practicable being suggested. I've found companies on the internet, but was hoping for recommendations - as you say, they will vary a lot.

OP’s posts: |
WindowsSmindows Mon 30-Apr-18 18:52:45

She must have a team, a consultant led team that covers her area and under whom she's been admitted before.
Ask them to assign her a community mental health nurse.
Ask if your area has a home based crises team.
She will probably have been diagnosed.
Is she maybe not understanding what she's been told? Has she maybe disengaged from the team, told them she's fine or missed appointments?
Your parents shouldn't have to tackle this alone.

inionbuartha Mon 30-Apr-18 22:53:44

Thanks Windows, I’ll follow up with them on asking about the teams and nurses. They have no team that I am aware of, and definitely no diagnosis. It sounds a lot like she’s bipolar but apparently this is not the case. I know my Dad chased for a long time to get it named but nothing more than vague description like stress, panic attacks etc have been named.

I’ve read online the community teams exist but my parents don’t seem to know of them. I’ve repeatedly asked Dad as I find it hard to believe there is no support outside a&E especially in an urban area. I know she had a series of appointments with the hospital’s psychiatrist when she was admitted a few years ago, but never any mention of a community nurse and certainly no regular contact with a team, or anyone except the GP who is vey near retirement.

I know my Dad feels he has absolutely no support on the medical side other than this family GP and had spent a lot of time minimizing and hiding it from us. He just keeps saying all he’s told is bring her to a&E when it gets too much and then they can admit her. She’s fine outside the attacks and they are generally healthy, competent people so it’s hard to believe they can’t access available help. Thanks again for the suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
Mumontherocks1 Fri 25-May-18 20:46:53

In NI we have organisations such as Aware and bipolar and other mental health support groups. I recommend that you reach out to similar organisations to see if they can help or signpost to other support.

My DD has a mental health diagnosis and through our GP she got referred to our local mental health team including a community nurse, her psychiatrist and personality disorder team. She also attends art therapy.

We also have the Recovery College who deliver courses on a range of issues. Apart from the learning it's nice to be out of the house and catch up with people she knows and meet new people.

I know your mum hates hospital but maybe your dad needs a break. It would give him a breather for a while. He needs support to be strong enough to cope. My DD is part of a WhatsApp bipolar group and regularly chats online.

They have a walking group. Your mum might like that.

It can't be easy being away from home and I feel for you.

There are organisation who support carers. As her carer I was offered 6 a few weeks support for a hour per week to help me to cope as her carer.

I hope this information is of some help to you. flowers

Mumontherocks1 Fri 25-May-18 20:51:43

P.s I recommend you push for a diagnosis. That will help her access mental health services instead of your dad just taking her to A&E to see the crisis team.

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