The National Health Service, Ireland’s health care system, has been criticised for failing to adequately monitor and prevent mental health conditions in its care.
The Irish Times revealed last month that the Department of Health failed to provide mental health screening in primary and secondary schools, and failed to properly track cases of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
The report found that in some schools, staff have had to use different forms of mental health diagnosis, including the Mental Health Register, which was launched in 2016 and is used to track the mental health status of students and staff.
The Health Minister, Simon Harris, said that the system was “broken”, and “the system has not kept up with the times”.
“We are a country of thousands of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, but there is only so much we can do to prevent a person from being undiagnosed, undiabled and undiarmoured, he said.
In an interview with The Irish Post, Dr Thomas Byrne, head of the Centre for Mental Health and Mental Health Education at the University of Limerick, said: “We have to be vigilant in the schools.
It’s important we have to monitor and intervene, but it’s important that the schools have the capacity to intervene.
“The National Mental Health Strategy is a new framework for health services to be developed that aims to address mental health in Ireland, with a focus on improving access to care.
The strategy includes a number of measures, including a new mental health strategy, including mental health education and awareness campaigns, as well as the development of the National Health Board.
A number of high-profile cases, including that of former Labour Minister John Halligan, were linked to the scheme.