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Policy Watch

An eye on policy changes in Ireland, the UK and beyond

Travellers, Mental Health and Suicide | Primary Mental Health Care | Armed Conflict and Mental Health | Deprivation, Suicide and Drug-Related Deaths

Mental Health Rights  |  Mon Jun 06 2022

Travellers, Mental Health and Suicide

Travellers carried out an action raising awareness of the mental health toll of marginalisation and discrimination on their community, with disproportionately high numbers of people touched by deaths by suicide.

Traveller activists Magz Casey from National Traveller Mental Health Network and Hugh Friel, Donegal Travellers Centre spoke to RTE radio ahead of their protest outside Dail Eireann in Dublin on 31 May 2022.

They say that successive governments have failed to address the dire conditions in which they live and which are causing a mental health and suicide crisis. They are calling for the urgent establishment of a Traveller Mental Health Strategy and the establishment of a standalone Traveller accommodation body.

Primary Mental Health Care

A poll amongst 569 UK GPs by the Pulse group found that well over one third of GP consultations now have a mental health element, compared to one fourth before the pandemic - and that GPs are struggling to get people the care that they need. Roughly two thirds said they felt they were providing specialist mental health care beyond their level of competence.

Armed Conflict and Mental Health

A systematic review of studies of the impact of armed conflict on mental health, published in The Lancet, concluded that people who have been exposed to armed conflict are at high risk of mental health disorders, and recommended that “the mental health-care needs of migrants should be assessed soon after resettlement, and adequate care should be provided, with particular attention paid to young adults”.

Deprivation, Suicide and Drug-Related Deaths

#123GP expressed concern at a rise in the number of deaths by suicide in 2020 and called for greater targeting of resources into deprived areas most affected by suicide and drug-related deaths.

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