Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

News

Colleges face up to crisis in mental health

Dara Bradley

Published

on

Students with suicidal thoughts are presenting at counselling services in Galway’s third level institutes ‘every second day’.

The country’s third level counsellors’ association says its members are encountering a “tsunami of students presenting with mental health problems”, at NUI Galway and GMIT.

The Irish Association of University and College Counsellors (IAUCC), says that its services are partly snowed-under because the Health Service Executive (HSE) – who should be providing counselling – is making referrals of people with mental health difficulties to its services.

Dr Declan Aherne of IAUCC, and Head of Counselling at University of Limerick, said counselling services across the country including Galway’s two third level institutes – NUIG and GMIT – have lengthy waiting lists as suicide and mental health remains a huge issue among young people. This is at a time when third level colleges are facing budget cutbacks and recruitment embargoes.

Dr Aherne says society has ‘lost its way’ since the fall-off in trust in the Catholic church, and the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, which has contributed to the explosion in mental health problems and suicide.

“When the Church was gone we lost our way . . . people are asking ‘what’s it all about?’ The recession has had an effect, too. People lost hope after the Celtic Tiger collapsed. They had something to aspire to and a purpose even if that was just about money and to be rich and famous. That’s gone now and people are lost,” he said.

Dr Aherne added: “We’re getting referrals from the HSE from people who need access to mental health services and who are being sent to us because the HSE doesn’t have the services to deal with them. Five years ago we had maybe 500 students a year. Now we’re over 1,000. We have 60 on a waiting list. That’s the same in Galway – it’s right across the board. It’s both good and bad: For years we were saying to people ‘come and talk to us’. Now we’re forced to say ‘come and talk to us but you’ll have to join the queue’.”

The students who present with suicidal thoughts, he said, are encountering the same difficulties as everybody else, it’s just that their coping mechanism isn’t as effective.

He said that some students are suicidal because they don’t have the “resilience to cope with life” for a variety of reasons including a lack of a support structure or breakdown of the family.

“Every second day we have students presenting with suicidal thoughts. Ten years ago that was unheard of – now it is every second day.”

Dr Aherne made the comments on the eve of IAUCC’s annual conference in Galway this weekend. The 20th annual anniversary of the association took place in Salthill Hotel this week..

The conference opening address was given by Kieran Loftus who is the Executive Director of Operations, NUIG and Michael Hannon, GMIT Registrar. The conference heard calls for the HSE to provide counselling drop-in centres in the community – based on the sort of services offered by third level institutes – to tackle the problem of suicide and mental health in the wider community.

Students can log on to pleasetalk.ie to find a range of relevant contact details including Samaritans (091-561222 or 1850-60-90-90) or Pieta House (093-25586).

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí seek help in locating missing man

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

Gardaí have sought help in locating a man missing in Galway since the end of December.
34-year-old Luke Davoren was last seen in the University Road area on December 30.

He is described as having fair hair, 6ft in height and having an athletic build. He was last seen wearing a grey hoody, brown leather jacket, blue jeans and brown leather boots. He also had a black back pack in his possession.

Gardaí and Luke’s family are very concerned for his welfare and have urged him to make contact.

Anyone with information, particularly any road users with dash cam footage of the Newcastle/University Road areas between 1am – 2am on December 30, is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091 538000.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

‘Daredevil’ swimmers are a fatality waiting to happen

Francis Farragher

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – ‘Daredevil’ winter sea swimmers who dive or jump into the water in places like Blackrock during adverse weather are putting their own lives at risk – and possibly those of rescuers – by their actions, it was warned this week.

Water Safety Ireland have cautioned that the biggest single contributor to drownings in Ireland is what is known as ‘cold water shock’ – a condition caused by the sudden entry into a cold body of water.

There is now growing concern that a copycat trend is emerging with young people – without wet suits – diving or jumping into the sea in stormy or icy-cold weather.

Several people have been filmed on social media in the sea at Salthill during storms – with a number of them taking ‘running jumps’ off the diving tower at Blackrock.

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Water Safety Ireland, told the Galway City Tribune that people jumping into the sea during storms showed at best a reckless disregard for their own safety and in a worst-case scenario represented ‘a fatality waiting to happen’ for the jumpers – or the persons trying to rescue them.

“Jumping into cold water puts you at risk of cold shock which can result in immediate incapacitation and doing so in storm conditions can make it difficult to get back out of the water safely and promptly before hypothermia sets in.

“Hypothermia leads to the cooling of the muscles needed in the arms and legs to stay afloat. Drownings typically happen when someone over-estimates their ability and under-estimates the risks,” said Mr Sweeney.

Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mike Swan, told the Galway City Tribune, that the key thing for all people who enjoyed the water and the sea was to carefully plan their exercise or hobby.

“Cold water shock is a real danger at this time of year for all swimmers. Be prepared – have your cap, ear plugs, mats, woolly cap [after leaving the water] and towels all in place. Check the weather forecast and check the tides – and never, ever just jump straight into the water during the colder season.”

(Photo: Diving into the water at Blackrock during Storm Bella in December)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

CITY TRIBUNE

Developer banks on boom in rental property market

Enda Cunningham

Published

on

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The backer of the Crown Square scheme in Mervue is planning an increase in the number of apartments in the development following a review of the economic viability of the project.

The 345 apartments will specifically target the rental market.

Crown Square Developments Ltd, which is operated by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has told Galway City Council that the amended plans will form part of a new planning application to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála under ‘Strategic Housing Development’ legislation.

According to the company, the property market has changed since it was granted permission in November 2019 for 288 apartments in three blocks ranging from five to eight storeys in height.

Mr Rhatigan has now sought planning permission for an 18% reduction in the overall size of basement levels and a reduction in car parking from 1,377 to 1,012 spaces. Cycle parking spaces will increase from 1,110 to 1,200.

The plan also involves the relocation of the vehicular and pedestrian access to the development on the Monivea Road, which will now be closer to McDonagh Avenue. The existing planned access is at the south-easternmost point of the site, but is now planned to move further west.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending