This year MindFreedom Ireland celebrates 20 years in existence. To mark this historic milestone, we are planning to hold an event in Fitzgerald Park, Cork on Sunday, May 28th starting at 2 pm. As we usually hold our annual electroshock protest in May, this year we will combine it with our anniversary event, which will also include music and story-sharing. Also present on the day will be Occupational Therapy professor, Dr Karen McCarthy from the Dominican University of California, along with 18 of her students on their Critical Psychiatric Perspective trip to Ireland. Karen has been a long-term supporter of MindFreedom Ireland since her days as a lecturer at UCC some years ago. More precise details to follow later.
Facts about electroshock in Ireland
In the Cork area where MindFreedom Ireland was founded thankfully Electroshock is unavailable. Just a few people sadly received it by referral.
“St Catherine’s Ward, St Finbarr’s Hospital, Cork By referral*†† † 0 0 <5 Sliabh Mis Mental Health Admission Unit, University Hospital Kerry By referral*†† † 0 0 <5 Units 2, 3, 4, 5 and Unit 8 (Floor 2), St Stephen’s Hospital, Cork By referral*†† † 0 0 <5”
https://www.mhcirl.ie/sites/default/files/2021-01/ECTreport_060320.pdf “In both 2018 and 2019, a total of 516 individual treatments of ECT were administered without consent”
“Approximately two-thirds of residents in 2018 and 2019 were female.”
Most Irish people who received electroshock were in the only two private institutions St John of God Hospital & Cluain Mhuire and St Patrick’s University ‘Hospitals’. St Patrick’s is the institution where most people are in danger of this brain-damaging intervention.
“In 2021, 18 of the approved centres (62%) either using ECT or referring residents to other services for treatment reported fewer than five programmes, an increase from 9 centres in 2020 (47%). Four services accounted for 82% of all ECT programmes in 2021: St Patrick’s University Hospital, APU Tallaght Hospital, AAMHU Galway University Hospital and St John of God Hospital.”
“ Involuntary admissions have increased yearon-year from 2,004 to 2,673 over the fourteenyear period,……” from 2008 to 2021 This is after the 2001 Mental Health act when many people thought that no one would receive electroshock without consent. If people do not want to receive it they are considered not to have the insight to know better and then they can still be forced to receive it. No long-term studies have been done to see how those who receive electroshock in Ireland recover. I received modified electroshock in St Patrick’s ‘hospital’ in 1982 and was perceived to recover. In 1983 I was back in the system again worse than ever and I did not get a chance to recover until I managed to become drug-free in the year 2000.
“All pregnant patients must be assessed by an obstetrician prior to receiving ECT. 13.2 Facilities administering ECT to pregnant patients must have resources for managing obstetric and neonatal emergencies. 13.3 If foetal gestation age is past first trimester, foetal monitoring is required.”
“In 2021, the average age of all residents who were administered ECT was 65 years, an increase from an average of 62 years in 2020. In 2021, residents receiving ECT ranged in age from 23 to 94 years, compared to 25 to 93 years in 2020.
Data from recent years indicate that female residents are more likely to be administered ECT than males. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of ECT residents in 2021 were female. The higher ratio of female to male ECT recipients may reflect the relatively higher incidence of depressive illness in women as compared with men.”
In Cork city and Ireland’s biggest county, we are glad to say that there is no approved centre which provides electroshock.
Mary Maddock, electroshock/prescription drug survivor
co-founder of MindFreedom Ireland