Bereaved family calls for dual mental health and addiction services

Man sectioned several times but each time was released when psychiatrists said they could not help him as he was drinking

  Minister for State  for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch: acknowledged that treatment for people with   a dual diagnosis needed to address both issues  and almost 170 specialists were to be appointed to tackle gaps in provision.   Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch: acknowledged that treatment for people with a dual diagnosis needed to address both issues and almost 170 specialists were to be appointed to tackle gaps in provision. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

The tragic death of a young Dubliner with mental health and addiction issues has prompted calls for changes in how the health system deals with such dual diagnoses. The family of Caoilte Ó Broin, whose body was found in the river Liffey earlier this month, has criticised the difficulty in getting care for Mr Ó Broin, who experienced psychosis and had alcohol problems .

Mr Ó Broin’s sister Caitríona is due to appear on The Late Late Show to highlight the gap in services. “We have been told, over and over again, that while my brother drinks, there will be no help for him, that legally, nothing can be done,” she wrote in an article on Joe.ie last month when Caoilte was still alive. “The fact that his substance abuse and psychiatric problems are so intimately linked is not addressed. It is denied.”

Mr Ó Broin could be violent and gardaí advised his family to seek a barring order but they did not want him arrested when he was not a criminal but someone with a mental illness

Carol Moore of Dual Diagnosis Ireland said Mr Ó Broin was sectioned several times but each time was released when psychiatrists said they could not help him as he was drinking. Mr Ó Broin (28) went missing just before new year after discharging himself from hospital. His body was recovered some days later.

Singer and mental-health campaigner Bressie, a friend of the family, said: “This family seemed to have been abandoned and utterly betrayed by a system that has to be brought under serious and real scrutiny. In Ireland, we celebrate and promote the culture of alcohol but then use it against people when this vicious drug starts to take over their life. It really is not acceptable on any level.”

Minister of State for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch acknowledged that treatment for people with such a dual diagnosis needed to address both issues.She said almost 170 specialists were to be appointed to tackle gaps in provision.