Majella O’Donnell has launched a no-holds barred attack on mental health professionals and how they are charging too much for their services.
The wife of singer Daniel O’Donnell has made no secret of the fact that she too has suffered from depression.
But now she has launched a stinging attack on GPs and other health professionals after a friend was told it would be next year until she is attended to because of mental health issues.
Majella said she feels angry, frustrated, annoyed, disgusted and many more emotions because of what has happened to her friend.
She said “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.”
Majella then launched an x-rated rant revealing her anger at her friend’s situation.
She exploded “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!!!!!! What the f..k is that all about? It is shameful.”
Majella said the kind of fees being charged by mental health professionals is just too expensive.
She added that there are wonderful free advice services around Ireland doing wonderful work but there is a serious shortage of psychiatrists.
And she added “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.”
She said that 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.
And she pleaded “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 one that I am so passionate about. Please share if you think we need to see change within the mental health profession.”