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new self harm nurse service to be introduced in Donegal


A new self harm nurse service is to be introduced in Donegal by the HSE Donegal Mental Health Service. The new service will be made available to those who need professional help from 0800am until 0800pm seven days a week in the Emergency Department (ED) in Letterkenny General Hospital.

The aim of the new service is to improve the outcomes for people who come to the Emergency Department following a self harm episode. This will be done by:

-Improving the assessment and management of people who come to the ED with self harm

-Improving access to appropriate treatments and support at times of personal crisis

-Reducing rates of repeated self harm

-Ensuring rapid and timely linkage to appropriate follow up care

-Helping family and carers in trying to support those who present with self harm.

Two nurses have been newly appointed to this position, Tracey Roarty and Michelle Murray. Both of whom will provide a rapid response to those presented at the emergency department. This will involve an assessment and follow up as well this they will work with inpatients in acute hospitals having required medical or surgical treatment as the first intervention for self harm.

Tracey stated, “Each patient discharged from the ED following a presentation with self harm will be offered a telephone call within 24hrs from either Michelle or me. We will offer support and discuss their care plan further, and offer a brief follow up, with the aim of helping them to access the relevant services to address their needs. The main focus is to empower individuals to make choices, leading to recovery with a network of support in the community”.

John Hayes, Chief Officer for North Western Area, Community Health Organisation said ‘We are delighted that Donegal Mental health clients now have a dedicated self harm nurse working with Letterkenny General Hospital as part of the Donegal Mental Services. This is an important new resource that will help us to provide a swift, reactive service for clients who need support and help.

Anne O’Connor, National Director, HSE’s Mental Health services, “I would like to wish Tracey and Michelle well in their roles as dedicated self harm nurses working with Letterkenny General Hospital. This service is part of the HSE’s National Mental Health Clinical programmes designed to improve the way we help people and their families who use our services in Donegal.”



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