Congratulations to Caroline Smith, Sandra Mulhall and Raymond Shannon, our December South East Radio Talbot Hotel Wexford Outstanding Achievement Award winners. These Wexford Mental Health Warriors are looking for better health services for young people.
Sandra began by saying that ‘Dr. Kieran Moore left Wexford to go to Crumlin Hospital, leaving Wexford devoid of a man of his quality and highlighting once again the hugh disparity we have as a mental health service’.
‘The Mental Health Warriors’ have had a few protests outside Slaney House, one outside the new Community Care Centre in Grogan’s Road and a large protest march through the main street in Wexford. They have had fabulous support from the people of Wexford.
They had meetings with a lot of the TD’s and recently they were supposed to have a meeting with Minister Jim Daly. It was organised for the 22nd November. He cancelled three days before the meeting was due to take place and change the meeting to the 13th December. That was subsequently cancelled and now the next scheduled date is the 22nd January 2019. This meeting is so important as these services are needed urgently. There is no continuation of help for children at the moment.
Sandra’s 16-year-old son has been on the adult psychiatric ward on two occasions. Once for 41 days and he was then brought away again under very difficult circumstances. It has been a hard year for them all.
Raymond is a single dad with four children age 15, 13, 7 and 5, his two sons have autism and ADHD and he said he ‘regularly use Slaney House services, or lack of services’. Raymond had to give up work to look after his children. One of his children is also bipolar. Raymond’s day is hectic from morning until night between school, appointments with Slaney House and GP appointments. His son is on medication with Slaney House, but they do not have a facility to take bloods so he has to go to his GP to get bloods taken. These results then go back to his GP. They then have to go back to Slaney House. It seems like he is constantly wasting time and going around in circles.
The Warriors would love continuity care for children in Wexford. Wexford needs a full-time psychiatrist and they would like to know whether or not Arden House is going ahead. There is no point in a child going to see a doctor, telling their story, going through it all and the next time there is another doctor and they have to go through it all again. It takes children a long time to build up a trust with somebody and this just cannot happen the way the system is at the moment.
Caroline’s son has ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome but thankfully he is in a good place at the moment. He had an appointment with Michael Walsh in Slaney House who said he is very happy with her son. But she still has teenage years ahead and does not know what tomorrow brings. The group now has over 2,000 facebook followers. They would like to thank South East Radio and the people of Wexford for their support.
This group is all about creating awareness. Jane Johnston a former Outstanding Achievement Award winner nominated the Wexford Mental Health Warriors. She said the system has such a power over us all, but we can lose sight of the fact the Wexford Mental Health Warriors have powers of their own too. It comes with sharing stories, which sometimes is not easy. In sharing their personal stories, they have spread the word right across the county. Children with difficulties are getting a very raw deal when it comes to the mental health services for young people in Wexford and we need to change that. This is such a well deserving group to win this award. These people are thinking outside of their personal difficulties to try and help others.