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Kathleen Lynch; Minister with responsibility for mental health?

Self-explanatory letter to the minister with responsibility for the Mental Health of Irish citizens. Tough job, but someone’s got to to it!

I would have thought that if experts were warning that SSRI’s were causing suicide, then something would have been done yesterday, not tomorrow. Didn’t Enda Kenny say if he was elected that his primary concern would be the people suffering with mental health issues? Well he was elected. These drugs can cause a person to kill themselves. Do something about THAT Enda. At the very least issue a warning to doctors because they seem to be unaware. This of course is not helped by the Irish College of Psychiatry, who protect their own interests by denying that the drugs can harm, and woe-betide anyone who contradicts that ridiculous stance. Anyway, please excuse my natural sarcasm when dealing with these people, who are allowing these drugs to continue to harm, can’t promise it wont happen again!


Dear Minister Lynch,

It is now almost two months since I, my husband, Professor David Healy and Pathologist Declan Gilsenan met with you in Leinster House. They each spoke of their concerns regarding the adverse-effects of antidepressants, indeed Prof Healy informed you that drug induced death are the leading cause of death within the mental health field. Declan Gilsenan spoke about his experience with autopsies and his intuition that SSRI’s are causing suicides. He thought at the very least that the statistics on suicide should be collated for investigation.

You replied that you would have to report back to James Reilly and would be meeting with the College of Psychiatry also. It seems that neither Professor Healy or Declan Gilsenan has heard anything back from you despite offering their services to help put a stop to future tragedies.

The Irish Human Rights Commission has investigated these drugs and has made important recommendations for practitioners. Sinead Lucey, who dealt with this investigation, has assured me the investigation is on-going and she will not stop till this issue is taken care of. I left you her number after the meeting: xxxxxxxxx

IHRC Recommendations….

(i)   Discussion of alternate therapies

(ii)  Referrals for counselling/psychiatric review

(iii) Within medical practices seek to ensure the same doctor deals with the person at all stages if at all possible;

(iv)  Oral explanation of risks/side-effects of SSRI’s in advance of prescription, together with relevant written information;

(v)   Guidelines regarding prescribing SSRI’s from initial stage through ongoing treatment;

(vi)  Level of monitoring and ongoing supervision required when SSRI’s are initially prescribed

(vii) Maintenance of adequate consultation notes; and

(viii)The necessity to obtain a full patient history before prescribing SSRI’s

If we were talking about the side-effects such as nausea or diarrhoea I could understand the delay, but considering we are speaking of people’s lives here, I do not understand. Filibustering regarding this topic is not acceptable. This is a matter of life or death. How many people have died by a drug-related suicide or homicide in the two months following our meeting? Future deaths are in your hands and as you are the Minister with responsibility in this area, I for one, will be holding you accountable.


Leonie Fennell

12 thoughts on “Kathleen Lynch; Minister with responsibility for mental health?”

  1. Usual story, ministers meet for PR purposes, spin a load os self-promoting twaddle that they read off the back of a corn-flake box, pretend that they give a crap, then send us on our merry way… useless…


    1. Ah I know…wasn’t expecting much. I WAS expecting her to contact Professor Healy and Declan Gilsenan though. Could it be that the Minister with responsibility for Mental Health can’t do anything about these drugs causing suicide? Or is it that she doesn’t really care?


  2. My suspicion is that perhaps the college of Irish Psychiatry holds much more power over the mental health of Ireland than either the Minister, Kathleen Lynch, or her superior minister, Dr. James Reilly… But of course I could be wrong… (highly unlikely though)..


    1. You could be right Truthman but if that is the case then it is the Irish Government who are enabling Irish Psychiatry’s ‘power’. It is the Irish Government who have the power to dismantle these dangerous bodies; the Irish College of psychiatry should be the first to go.


  3. Three words ‘direct foreign investment’. The government are pursuing this aggressively in an attempt to stimulate the economy and create jobs. The €billion a year in corporation tax alone that pharma contributes to the exchequer is too big a cash cow to upset signfiicantly.


    1. I agree with you Rose BUT there can be no excuses for ignoring deaths caused by these drugs. Corruption always gets found out and enabling drug companies to call the shots is a bad idea. He who has the gold makes the rules, but I prefer, if you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas. I’ll bring the insect repellant next time!


  4. Another amazingly well-written entry. Thank you Leonie 🙂
    Investigative journalism like this is so beneficial educationally, & for all ages too!

    May I ask what was the date of the IRHC-recommendations that you mentioned in your letter to the Irish minister Lynch of 29/06/2012, which you included in this post above?

    I have to admit, it’s interesting to see that word as a person’s name for a change!
    This word ‘Lynch’. Considering its tribal medieval-Irish origins to its contemporary, international application in modern diction throughout Europe: Loi de Lynch, Lynchen, Lynsjing, Linciaggio, Lynchjustiz, Lincz, etcetera etc. &c… And certainly in the context of your blog articles and the matters they report are taking place in the Republic of Ireland today? And juxtaposed against the complete absence of any willingness for any one single-organ to accept some level of adult-responsibility for tackling those issues and doing so under one roof? Mayor Lynch of Galway certainly did not step-away nor hesitate in taking matters into his own hands in 1493 by hanging his son from a balcony in order to vindicate some foreign merchants and their overseas trade?

    Another very interesting post of yours on these pages caused me to reflect on the closures of a number of farm’a-corpse in this country in recent years.
    In that blogpost (above) you outlined to readers the dynamics involved in the ‘spit-or-swallow’ approach utilised by farm’a corps operations-managers to intimidate policy-leaders in corrupt countries. Thereby suggesting that such open-pants policy may actually involve the leverage of (local-)jobs in the event that (local-)leaders refuse to swallow the entire sales pipeline presented to them. Again, thanks for that post too 🙂


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