Tallaght Hospital and Community Groups Join Together for Green Ribbon Initiative

Tallaght Hospital will hold a unique and exciting event about the importance of happiness in order to promote positive mental health. The event, entitled How to Stay Happy, will be on May 11th at 10am in the FettercairnCommunity Centre in Tallaght. The initiative is part of Tallaght Hospital’s programme of activity for the Green Ribbon campaign on mental health, which takes places throughout the month of May. It also underlines Tallaght Hospital’s continued commitment to providing the best possible care and advice to patients, as highlighted by the 2014 Health Assets and Needs Assessment Report.

The talk starting at 10am in the Fettercairn Community Centre will look at recent research into happiness, what (if anything) can be learned from such research. Are men happier than women? Does age matter? Does money make you happy? The talk will conclude with advice about the likely path to happiness for most people and will outline ways to make expectations of happiness into more practical, reasonable and achievable in day-to-day life.

Following the How to Stay Happy talk there will be an opportunity for those attending the event to meet with various community organisations involved in the promotion of positive mental health and suicide awareness such as Village Counselling Service, Counselling in Primary Care, Pieta House, Jigsaw, Mojo, Mental Health Association, South Dublin Council Sports Partnership, Nurture Counselling, Eve, Relationship Ireland/TweenBetween, Foroige, AWARE and See Change. The host of the event is Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, a leading consultant psychiatrist in Tallaght Hospital, with a focus on mental health in later life, and Professor Brendan Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry at Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Psychiatrist at Tallaght Hospital and renowned speaker on mental health issues.

In addition to the How to Stay Happy event, the Hospital atrium will host an information stand on May 10th and 12th from 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm staffed by mental health professionals to answer any questions that members of the public or staff may have on mental health. These endeavours are part of the national Green Ribbon campaign which comprises See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and 90 partner organisations organise a month-long series of events to encourage people to start openly talking about mental health problems.

Providing care and advice on mental health is part of Tallaght Hospital’s commitment to guaranteeing the optimal patient experience. The changing demographics of the hospital’s catchment area and the future challenges that this will entail was highlighted in the 2014 Health Assets and Needs Assessment (HANA) Report. Events such as How to Stay Happy aim to address these changing needs and meet future challenges head on.

Dr Siobhán Ni Bhriain, consultant psychiatrist and Chair of the Medical Board at Tallaght Hospital said, “This is the first time we have tried to organise an event like this and the reaction from community groups is extremely positive. I believe the event will be a very valuable contribution to the national Green Ribbon campaign and the open conversation we all need to have about mental health, this is essential if we are to ever remove the stigma from it. People experience lots of stresses and strains in their daily lives and therefore is it so important to appreciate the importance of happiness and how to be happy. Positive mental health does not always happen automatically. It is important to work at it every day. With this public talk we hope to be able to provide some useful advice to people on how to do this.”

David Slevin, CEO, Tallaght Hospital, said, “At Tallaght Hospital we are committed to ensuring that we continue to meet the challenges of a changing and growing population. Part of this process involves ensuring that there are excellent and accessible facilities for those with mental health difficulties. I am looking forward to this event and I hope all who are in attendance derive great benefit from it.

Catherine Heaney, Community Health Worker & Project Co-Ordinator at the Fettercairn Community Health Project, said, “It is so important to know how to be happy and that’s why I am delighted to see an event such as this being organised. I want to thank all those at Tallaght Hospital, in the Fettercairn community and from all other organisations that have helped to make this event a reality. There are many people in the community who struggle with mental health challenges such as depression. I hope that events such as this can offer them some hope for the future. I will proudly wear my green ribbon for the Green Ribbon campaign.

About Tallaght Hospital
Tallaght Hospital is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with 2,600 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. 

Tallaght Hospital is one of two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. Tallaght Hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.

A new satellite centre is to be built at Tallaght Hospital as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.

The hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 44,640 Adult ED Attendances and 31,934 Paediatric Attendances in 2014. A further 263,929 patients were treated through the hospital’s outpatient clinics in 2014. The hospital’s operations are supported by a community of 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.

Background on the Psychiatry Service in Tallaght Hospital

The Psychiatry service in Tallaght covers a catchment area of 267,846 and includes the geographical areas of Ballyfermot, Clondalkin, Crumlin and Tallaght itself. Most of the services are based in the community with day hospitals, day centres, outpatients and other services operating in these areas. It is the largest urban based service in the country, has the second lowest bed availability per capita in the country, and was the first urban psychiatry service to introduce home-based treatment that is care in the community and at home. The admission unit, governed by the HSE, is a 52-bedded unit, is based in Tallaght Hospital and is regulated by the Mental Health Commission. The staff work closely at executive management level with Tallaght Hospital meet regularly to discuss operational, strategic and clinical matters to ensure the delivery of good patient care.