Today we met with Kathleen Lynch, the minister with responsibility for mental health. After the initial niceties, the first point she made was that she saw the article in the Examiner and she was hoping that the meeting today would be kept private and out of the public domain. This she said, was due to the other families who were also involved and she hoped that we could keep this an “in house and very much a private meeting.”
Sorry, I will not be playing the political game.
I disagree with Minister Lynch and I am of the opinion that keeping these issues a secret is exactly where the problem began. Did the Minister think that she had to remind us that there were other people involved?
I personally know of a previous meeting in the Dail where the suicidal/aggression side-effects of SSRI’s were brought to the attention of a Government Minister. Maybe if something was done about the situation at that time, there wouldn’t be other people involved and Shane would be off traveling around the world. But nothing was done, so we will never know, will we?
Declan Gilsenan was great; he spoke about his ‘intuition’ that SSRI’s are causing suicides and that the way to prove or disprove this would be to get statistics done on suicide victims. This, he said, wouldn’t be too difficult. He also brought the manual which the medical professionals learn from, which clearly state that SSRI’s can cause suicide. He asked if more suicide victims had sought help and therefore been prescribed SSRI’s, than people who didn’t. Imagine what a tragedy that would be?
Professor Healy was brilliant as always and spoke of the SSRI trials that were done on non-depressed people who went on to become suicidal once the drug was introduced and were fine again once the drug was discontinued. This he said is denied by the Irish College of Psychiatry. No surprise there then? He further stated that drug induced death is the leading cause of death within the mental health field.
At the end of the meeting Minister Lynch assured us that she would take all our points on board and bring them to the attention of the Minister for Health, James Reilly. This is the same James Reilly that previously stated “SSRIs aren’t addictive and treat depression effectively.” He also denied that GPs were systematically over-prescribing SSRIs. Minister Lynch also said she would be talking to the College of Psychiatry of Ireland again and intended to talk to them about the whole education piece. This is the same College of Psychiatry which collectively deny that SSRI’s can cause suicide despite the fact that the drug companies have to admit that they can?
I won’t be holding my breath but you never know! “Drug induced death is the leading cause of death within the mental health field.” Can this really be ignored? Antidepressants can cause suicide…Can this possibly be ignored?
Once again the adverse effects of antidepressants have been brought to the attention of the Irish Government, this time by the experts; the ball is firmly in their court!