*Cllr PJ Ryan. Photograph: Natasha Barton

A SOUTH-EAST CLARE representative has highlighted a “distressing” recent death by suicide in the county two days after the person was released from care.

Speaking at a HSE briefing with elected members of Clare County Council this week, Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) raised concerns with the mental health services in the Mid-West region.

He told the meeting that he was recently dealing with a family in his constituency who had lost a loved one to suicide. “They were admitted to 5B and were released, they took their own life two days later. They were obviously not in a good place when they were released”.

The Acute Psychiatric Unit 5B is located within University Hospital Limerick in Dooradoyle. It provides mental health services for the Limerick catchment area and can accommodate residents in a mix of single, double, and dormitory style rooms. It has a maximum occupancy of 42.

Cratloe based Ryan continued, “I know nobody can see into the future, it is an area that is over-loaded but it is very distressing when people are admitted and they are released and their family can see they are not ready to be released”.

In response, Margaret Costelloe, Head of Service with Primary Care at HSE Mid West Community Healthcare expressed their sympathies. She said she was happy to follow up with “further detail on the matter”.

In 2016, Cllr Ryan previously outlined that training he received as a member of Shannon Lions Club helped him to save a life, as a result of attending suicide prevention classes. He put this training into practice when he encountered an individual who he thought was contemplating suicide.

Ryan’s training assisted him in identifying symptoms and he successfully intervened to prevent a tragic outcome. “I have met the person on several occasions and they have thanked me numerous times,” he recalled.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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