Maynooth University psychologists work with HSE to study the impact of parents’ mental health on children and how best to support families

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 13:00

Irish Version

It is estimated that up to one in five children and young people may live in families where a parent has mental health difficulties.

For the first time in Ireland, a team of psychologists at Maynooth University are working with mental health services across the country to help implement and research new services for families in which a parent has mental health challenges.
Maynooth University’s ‘PRIMERA’ research programme is playing an important role increasing awareness among mental health professionals of the impact of parental mental health on children.

Professor Sinéad McGilloway, Principal Investigator of the PRIMERA research programme at the Centre for Mental Health and Community Research at Maynooth University said: “Children of parents with mental health difficulties are at risk of poor mental and physical health, impaired social relationships and low levels of educational attainment.”  

“As a result, they are among the most vulnerable ‘hidden’ groups in society. Balancing the needs of a parent in recovery from mental ill health and the needs of children in their care, is not without its challenges.”

The HSE-funded PRIMERA Programme - Promoting Research and Innovation in Mental Health Services for Children and Families - promotes a ‘think family’ care delivery agenda in Ireland. The Programme aims to identify, implement and evaluate family-focused interventions for families with children aged 5-18 years, in which a parent has mental health difficulties.

Professor McGilloway said: “To date, we are delighted to confirm that eight HSE funded mental service sites across the country have agreed to take part in the research. We are also very pleased to be working with one St John of God and four Tusla services. We are hopeful that all of the staff with whom we are working will begin to identify and recruit families for the research in October of this year.”

David Walsh, HSE National Director Community Operations said:  “We know that difficulties experienced by one member of a family can have consequences for the person themselves and also for other family members. This is especially true for children who depend on their parents for their significant attachment relationships. Promoting the well-being and resilience of our young people and our families is hugely important, which is why the HSE is proud to fund the PRIMERA research programme. “Modern health care delivery involves integration and partnership between service providers, service users and family members and carers. We are delighted that all of these sites will be taking part in the research. It is an excellent testimony to the dedication of our staff and we look forward to achieving great things."  
 
As part of the first stage of the research, a one-day Masterclass at Maynooth University, being held on Wednesday, 5 September, will be delivered by Dr Adrian Falkov, a world-leading expert on family mental health.
Together with Maynooth University’s PRIMERA research team, the Masterclass aims to provide frontline professionals with the extra support they might require to tackle the often complex needs of Irish families who struggle with mental health challenges as part and parcel of their everyday life.

Professor McGilloway described the event to be attended by 80 mental health professionals across the country as “important in initiating a long-overdue conversation about a neglected and important topic.”
The other PRIMERA team members are Dr Mairead Furlong and Christine Mulligan.
ENDS
Media contact: Niamh Connolly, Communications & Marketing Office, Maynooth University niamh.connolly@mu.ie  01 708 6857/Emer Clark, Campaign Lead for HSE Mental Health Communications emer.clarke2@hse.ie 087 0641962

Síceolaithe Ollscoil Mhá Nuad ag obair le FSS chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar conas mar a théann meabhairshláinte na dtuismitheoirí i bhfeidhm ar pháistí agus conas ba cheart cabhrú leo.
Meastar go bhfuil páiste nó duine óg amháin as gach cúigear ag maireachtáil i dteaghlaigh ina mbíonn deacrachtaí meabhairshláinte ag tuismitheoirí acu.

Dén chéad uair in Éirinn, tá foireann de shíceolaithe ag obair le seirbhísí meabhairshláinte timpeall na tíre chun taighde a dhéanamh ar sheirbhísí nua do theaghlaigh ina mbíonn ar thuismitheoir dul i ngleic le dushláin a bhaineann le meabhairshláinte agus chun na seirbhísí seo a chur i bhfeidhm.

Tá ról tábhachtach á ghlacadh ag clár taighde ‘PRIMERA’ Ollscoil Mhá Nuad chun feasacht a mhúscailt i measc dhaoine gairmiúla meabhairshláinte ar an tionchar a bhíonn ag meabhairshláinte an tuismitheora ar pháistí.
Dúirt an tOllamh Sinéad McGilloway, Príomhthaighdeoir chlár taighde PRIMERA ag an Ionad um Mheabhairshláinte agus Taighde Pobail in Ollscoil Mhá Nuad: “Nuair is páiste de thuismitheoir le deacrachtaí meabhairshláinte atá i gceist, tá baol ann go mbeadh an páiste sin thíos le meabhairshláinte agus folláine coirp ar dhrochchaighdeán, caidrimh shóisialta lagaithe agus léibhéil ísle de shroicheadh oideachais.”

“Mar thoradh air sin, tá páistí den saghas seo mar chuid de na grúpaí ‘ceilte’ is leochaileaí sa tsochaí. Is dúshlánach an rud é ag iarraidh cothromaíocht a bhaint amach idir na riachtanais atá ag an tuismitheoir le linn athshlánaithe agus na riachtanais atá ag na páistí faoina gcúram.”

Is é an teideal atá ar Chlár PRIMERA maoinithe ag FSS ná Ag Cur Taighde agus Nuálaíocht Chun Cinn i Seirbhísí Meabhairshláinte do Pháistí agus do Theaghlaigh agus cuireann sé clár soláthair taighde ‘teaghlach machnaimh’ chun cinn. Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gClár idirghabhála dírithe ar an teaghlach a aithint, a chur i bhfeidhm agus a mheasúnú do theaghlaigh ina bhfuil na páistí idir cúig bliana agus ocht mbliana déag d’aois agus ina bhfuil deacrachtaí meabhairshláinte ag tuismitheoir.

Dúirt an tOllamh McGilloway: “Go dtí seo, tá ríméad orainn deimhniú go bhfuil ocht láithreán maoinithe ag FSS chun séirbhísí meabhairshláinte a chur ar fail sásta páirt a ghlacadh sa taighde. Tá an-áthas orainn chomh mhaith chun bheith ag obair le seirbhís amháin de chuid Naomh Eoin Dé agus ceithre sheirbhís de chuid Tusla. Ta dóchas orainn go dtosóidh na baill foirne ar fad lena mbeimid ag obair ar theaghlaigh a aithint agus a earcú don taighde i Mí Dheireadh Fómhair na bliana seo.

Dúirt David Walsh, Stiúrthóir Náisiúnta Oibríochtaí Pobail do FFS: “Tá a fhios againn nuair a bhíonn deacrachtaí ag duine amháin den teaghlach go mbíonn impleachtaí ann ní amháin don duine féin ach do bhaill eile den teaghlach chomh maith. Is fíor seo ach go háirithe do pháistí ag brath go mór ar dhlúthchaidreamh lena gcuid tuismitheoirí. Is fíor-thábhachtach an rud é folláine agus athléimneacht ár ndaoine óga a chur chun cinn, agus sin í an chúis go bhfuil FSS bródúil as clár taighde PRIMERA a mhaoiniú. Baineann soláthar cúram sláinte nua-aimseartha le comhpháirtíocht agus comhcheangal idir soláthraithe seirbhíse, úsáideoirí seirbhíse agus baill teaghlaigh agus cúramóirí. Tá ríméad orainn go nglacfaidh na láithreáin seo ar fad páirt sa taighde. Is teistiméireacht den chéad scoth é ar dhiograis ár bhfoirne agus táimid ag súil le gaiscí a bhaint amach.”

Mar chuid de chéad chéim an taighde, beidh Máistir-Rang aon lá amháin ar siúl in Ollscoil Mhá Nuad Dé Céadaoin 5 Mí Mheán Fómhair agus beidh sé curtha i láthair ag an Dr Adrian Falkov. Is saineolaí aitheanta ar fud an domhain é ar mheabhairshláinte sa teaghlach.

I gcomhar le foireann taighde PRIMERA Ollscoil Mhá Nuad, is í aidhm an mháistir-ranga ná tacaíocht sa bhreis a thabhairt do dhaoine gairmiúla bunlíne. Ceaptar go bhfuil gá leis an tacaíocht seo ionas gur féidir leo dul i ngleic leis na riachtanais chasta a bhíonn ag teaghlaigh Éireannacha agus iad ag dul i ngleic le dúshláin mheabhairshláinte ar bhonn laethúil.

Chuir an tOllamh McGilloway síos ar an ocáid, ar a bhfreastalóidh ochtó duine gairmiúil meabhairshláinte, mar ocáid atá “tábhachtach chun tús a chur le comhrá ar an méar fhada ar feadh i bhfad faoi ábhar tábhachtach ar a bhfuil faillí deánta.”

Is iad na baill foirne PRIMERA eile ná an Dr Mairead Furlong agus Christine Mulligan.