Services are available all year round says HSE
The HSE has said it would like to reassure people in Wexford that mental health services are available to patients in the county 365 days a year.
A total of €18m has been invested in new mental health premises in Wexford since 2011, in line with the national strategy document 'Vision for Change', according to a HSE statement.
'These developments see the vast majority of clients being treated in the community by building on existing community mental health teams, outpatient clinics, hostels and day services - with only a small number requiring care in an acute inpatient setting.'
The HSE said this approach to delivering services is considered best practice, both nationally and internationally.
Following the closure of outdated facilities including St Senan's Hospital, the following community services have been developed and expanded in County Wexford, the health executive points out:
l Two new mental health day hospitals in Gorey and Wexford town, available seven days a week
l Three new purpose-built high support residences on the grounds of St John's Hospital, Enniscorthy, including the 12-bed Tus Nua Rehabilitation Centre; Millview high support community residence, which has 12 beds and Havenwood, high support intellectual disability residence, which has 12 beds
l An Tearmann Respite Centre in the grounds of St John's
l The 50-bed Farnogue Community Nursing Unit in the grounds of Wexford General Hospital which cost €8m and includes 20 beds used by the mental health services
The development of community services, leading to an increase in day services and improvements in the work of community health teams, has had a positive effect in reducing acute admissions, says the HSE.
'For the small number of people who require inpatient treatment, this is available in the Department of Psychiatry at University Hospital Waterford or in Newcastle Hospital, County Wicklow for north County Wexford patients,' the HSE said in a statement outlining County Wexford mental health services.
The HSE outlined other supports including Console in Wexford which is partially funded by the HSE and provides professional counselling, support and helpline services to those bereaved through suicide; the Samaritans 24-hour helpline 1850 609090 which is funded by the HSE; and the Farm and Rural Stress helpline 1800 742645, which is open 24/7.
The HSE also points out that Wexford Mental Health Services has a Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurse - SCAN - service in operation, offering a speedy response for GPs concerned about a patient's risk of self-harm or suicide. SCAN has access to a duty psychiatrist to expedite an out-patient review or admission to inpatient services where necessary.
In addition, there is Wexford Self Harm Intervention Programme - SHIP - which offers a specialist counselling service for anyone over the age of 16 who may be feeling vulnerable or suicidal. It doesn't provide an emergency response but aims to provide access to specialised counselling at locations in Wexford town and Enniscorthy, according to the HSE.
A GP will provide a referral and there is no cost to the client.
A clinical nurse specialist is on duty seven days a week, from 9am to 5 pm, at Wexford General Hospital as part of a mental health liaison service, assessing all adult patients who present to the A&E with suicide or self-harm distress and seeking to address their needs and safety.