Mother questions inpatient psychiatric care of son (17) who took own life
Daniel Hogan found dead on grounds of the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook in July 2014
A mother has raised concerns over psychiatric treatment her 17-year-old son received before taking his own life. Daniel (Dan) Hogan was found dead on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook, Dublin on July 8th, 2014, just hours after he was assessed by a psychiatrist. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.
A mother has raised concerns over psychiatric treatment her 17-year-old son received before taking his own life.
Daniel (Dan) Hogan was found dead on the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook, Dublin on July 8th, 2014, just hours after he was assessed by a psychiatrist.
Dan had attended St Joseph’s Adolescent Inpatient Unit in Fairview as an involuntary patient in the weeks prior to his death. His mother told his inquest Dan was traumatised by the experience which contributed to his death.
“We’ve lost Dan, Dan is gone. He was ill. I’m thinking of other kids in other situations now and I’m prepared to stick my neck out for other kids,” his mother, Elaine Clear, said at Dublin Coroner’s Court.
Ms Clear said she and Dan’s father were asked to leave the facility and their son was left alone after his admission to St Joseph’s.
“We were told to leave, he was in effect put into solitary confinement. I think the trauma incurred then contributed to his (later) actions,” Ms Clear said.
The inquest heard that Dan had a history of experiencing low mood and distress through his teens, having been diagnosed initially with ADHD in 2010.
In 2011 he experienced an “episode of significant distress,” was admitted to hospital and prescribed a low dose of the anti-psychotic medication, Risperidone.
He deteriorated again after his Junior Certificate and was prescribed fluoxetine (Prozac) as he began Transition Year, which “was a very positive” year for him, the court heard.
Dan became low again as he was due to begin 5th year, consultant outpatient adolescent psychiatrist Dr Blanaid Gavin of the Lucena Clinic for adolescent mental health services told the inquest.
In early 2014, Dan was taking the antidepressant Fluoxetine and Risperidone but his condition “appeared to worsen”, according to Dr Gavin.
He began to experience suicidal thoughts and was referred to St Joseph’s Unit in Fairview by the Lucena Clinic. Discharged on June 23rd, 2014, he remained “quite low in himself” and an increased dose of Fluoxetine was prescribed.
On July 7th, 2014, the day before he was found dead, Dan appeared in good form and spoke about plans for the summer, Dr Gavin said.
His body was found by a gardener on the grounds of the Royal Hospital the following day.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell adjourned the inquest until March 22nd to allow a representative of St Joseph’s Adolescent Unit answer the concerns raised by Ms Clear.
The Hogan family thanked gardaí and Dr Gavin for their support.