Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation (Continued) [Dual diagnosis].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions on promised legislation (Continued) [Dual diagnosis]. (11 May 2017)

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Deputy Mick Barry: In recent days, there has been media comment on the circumstances leading up to the death of the journalist and blogger, Ms Dara Quigley. Very serious questions have been raised about the Garda Síochána and its treatment of the most vulnerable in society. I will leave those questions for another day. Today, I want to ask the Tánaiste about the question of dual diagnosis. Dara suffered from and struggled with mental health problems and addiction. She received help from many agencies but what was available was not sufficient. A particular problem was the lack of dual diagnosis services where psychiatric and addiction problems are treated together in a professional and properly-funded manner. My question to the Tánaiste is as follows. Does she see a legislative pathway to addressing this problem?


The Tánaiste: I ask the Minister of State, Deputy McEntee, to answer.


Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Helen McEntee): I offer my condolences to the late Ms Quigley's family and friends. This was a terrible situation and what happened consequently was deplorable. The issue of dual diagnosis is something that we have not dealt with in the past. We know that in a significant number of suicides there is a link between drug or alcohol use as well. We are developing a clinical programme on the issue of dual diagnosis. We have appointed a national clinical lead who will work to develop a programme whereby if somebody is suffering from either a drug or alcohol problem that is leading on to a mental health problem, there will be a clear clinical pathway for our doctors and nurses, both within the acute hospitals and in primary care settings. There is work well under way and we would be hoping to continue that during the year.

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