Majella O’Donnell hits out at ‘shameful’ mental health services: “I feel disgusted.”

She's taken to Facebook with her most enraged status to date.

She thinks something needs to be done.
She thinks something needs to be done.

Majella O’Donnell has hit out at Ireland’s mental health services.

The 56-year-old, who’s been vocal about her own mental health struggles in the past, became “disgusted and “angry” when a friend told her about her experience with Ireland’s mental health services.

Majella’s friend Anne sought out help when she was feeling depressed, only to be told that she would have to be referred to a specialist by her GP, she wouldn’t get seen until at least February and an appointment would cost her €300.

The tipperary native became so enraged when she heard of her friend’s experience that she took to Facebook to vent her frustrations.

She wrote:

“Maybe this isn’t the place for me to vent my anger but where else can I reach so many people at once?! I feel angry, frustrated, annoyed, disgusted and many more emotions because of what has happened to a friend of mine.

“My friend Anne is a young mother who has been feeling anxious, unmotivated, irritated and generally depressed. She is aware of it and has been on antidepressants in the past.

“She is also aware of the fact that it is negatively affecting her relationship with her partner and putting a huge strain on them. She wanted to get to the bottom of why she feels this way.

“She phoned a psychiatrist to see if she could talk to someone professional and was told that a) She would have to be referred by her GP b) She wouldn’t be seen until at least February and c) It would cost her €300 an hour for the psychiatrist !!!!! WHAT THE F..K is that all about?

“I get so bloody angry at this kind of thing. Here is a young woman realising that she has a problem and trying to do something positive about it and this is what the outcome is! She went back to her GP who once again prescribed antidepressants, a stronger one this time, and that’s it.

“She doesn’t really want to take them as she would like to understand why she feels the way she does but she feels she has no choice. I can accept that a GP needs to refer you but what really pisses me off is the fact that no one could see her until at least February but that doesn’t really matter because she could never afford the €300 per hour fee that is being charged. €300 per hour!

“It is shameful. How dare anyone charge that kind of money to help another human being who is in a desperate situation. That sort of fee CANNOT be justified!! We have wonderful support groups around the country like Pieta House, Aware, Mental Health Ireland, Grow and lots more, doing their best to help people with their mental wellbeing but when someone tries to help themselves before things have reached the point of no return, this is what happens.

“We need, as a country, to sort this problem with accessing physiatrists and if there is a shortage then we need to actively start incentivising medical students to look at psychiatry as their speciality.

“There are so many new pressures in our world today that problems with our mental health are becoming and will continue to be a huge issue for people. Why do we have to wait until a person is so desperate for help that they are considering taking their own lives before we are willing to do something about it.

“We need to start being proactive about mental health instead of being reactive. 

“There, that’s my rant over. I may be a little unreasonable about the whole subject but it is one that I am so passionate about. Please share if you think we need to see change within the mental health profession.”

Majella's been open about her own mental health struggles in the past.
Majella’s been open about her own mental health struggles in the past.

Majella’s passionate status has been shared over 2,000 times.

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