Your Health

In association with Sligo Today

Stress Control - Face your Fears

Added: 16/02/18 : 05:20:01

The HSE continues to roll out the highly regarded six week Stress Control programme in Sligo and Leitrim with the next programme starting on Wednesday the 21st February in IT Sligo at 6.30pm. Stress affects people from all walks of life. Although no two people will have exactly the same problems, we all have a lot in common when we are feeling stressed. We can find it hard to relax, we can worry a great deal, we can lose confidence and a sense of control and get despondent.

Whilst it’s normal to have a certain degree of stress in our lives, for many of us the stress has become too much, whatever we do we can’t seem to get on top of it. When stress is running our lives there are inevitable and often serious consequences – our health may begin to deteriorate as our immune system becomes compromised by stress hormones continually flooding our body, physical tension becomes the new normal and we no longer know how to relax or even what being relaxed feels like.

Our relationships at home or at work may suffer as we become more snappy and irritable, our thinking becomes less clear, more confused and consequently we may make poor decisions in our day to day affairs.  
We may find ourselves with high levels of anxiety or depression that we can’t seem to shift. All of these consequences develop into vicious circles in our lives, we get stressed during the day, we find we can’t sleep because of worrying and then we are exhausted the next day and even more prone to getting stressed by the slightest things and so on…worse we may start using alcohol to help us sleep.

Sadly for many of us these consequences are becoming all too common.  Research in the UK found that almost 90% of all visits to GP’s were stress-related, so if you are suffering from stress you are clearly ‘not alone’, most people are struggling to cope with stress in their lives.  The research is telling us that 25% of the population is suffering from sub-clinical stress – that’s mild to moderate levels of anxiety or depression, and this is having consequences on their health, 9% of these people are more likely to die from cancer, 25% are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and for most there will be increases in smoking, alcohol consumption and weight gain.

As a country we spend literally millions of Euros every year on prescriptions for drugs to treat depression, anxiety and lack of sleep. Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn to stop stress in it’s tracks, learn how to recognise the symptoms of stress in our lives, understand how it affects us and most importantly the simple things we can do right now to get our lives back together and away from stress.

Stress control is a free six session programme. Each session lasts for 90 minutes and is delivered once a week. ‘Stress Control’ was devised by Dr. Jim White, a clinical psychologist in Glasgow, to help the large number of people who complained of stress and who were keen to learn how to tackle their problems themselves. Through research, this evidence-based course has been improved over the years and Stress Control is now available in many different countries.

People who come to Stress Control come to learn simple strategies for alleviating stress, and the course is delivered in a ‘chalk and talk’ format so that people do not need to interact, this makes it less stressful for participants, there are no embarrassing exercises, just simple information explained in such a way that people learn over the course how to become their own therapists. Handouts are given for each session, and people practice the exercises between sessions.

‘I was off work due to stress, when this course started. Thanks to the tips I have been able to ‘face my fears’ and return to work.’  (Previous participant).

“I feel stress is an on-going problem for most people but with the skills and knowledge I have picked up on this course, I feel confident I will be able to manage my stress” (previous participat)

‘The taught programme was a ‘gift’. Knowing I could attend and just spend my time just focusing on listening’. (Previous participant.)

If you are interested in attending this course, please send your name, email address and telephone number to: Email: or Telephone: (071) 9135098

This course is free and sponsored by the HSE.

If stress is concerning you or someone you know then come along to the Stress Control programme or talk to your get help and advice.

INMO launches paediatric trolley watch

Added: 15/01/18 : 15:12:03

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have launched an additional element to their existing Trolley and Ward Watch count. From today, Monday January 15, the INMO will now count and publish trolley figures for Ireland’s Children’s hospitals. These hospitals are; Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin, National Children's Hospital Tallaght, Children's University Hospital Temple Street.

If Children are on trolleys in any of the regional hospitals this will also be recorded.

It is unfortunate that children are now regularly being admitted for hospital care without an inpatient bed. The presence of trolleys in paediatric hospitals is a new phenomenon and the INMO Children’s’ Nurses Section highlighted that these trolleys numbers have not previously been included in the count. The INMO Executive Council, at their October meeting, agreed to launch a Paediatric Trolley Watch count. The INMO have been monitoring the number of children on trolleys since November 2017.

The first two weeks of January 2018 has seen 73 of children on trolleys in the three paediatric hospitals.

Speaking today, INMO General Secretary, Phil Ni Sheaghdha said: “The negative outcome for patients arising from long trolley waits is proven and accepted.  Exposing children to extended periods in an emergency department is unsatisfactory on many levels not least of which is the possible exposure to traumatic events.  All systems, processes and procedures must aim to avoid unnecessary waiting times in EDs as a matter of urgency.”

Catherine Sheridan INMO Executive Council member and Children’s’ nurse said: “Attending hospital is a fearful and anxious experience for children and their families, this can and must be kept to an absolute minimum.  It is simply not acceptable to us, that environments that are totally unsuitable are added to this anxiety and fear.”

INMO President, Martina Harkin-Kelly said: “It is vital that this Union puts the health and safety and timely care of all patients, particularly those most vulnerable in our society under to spotlight so as to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide safe, effective quality care.  Therefore, is has been necessary to bring attention to this unfortunate development by expanding the Trolley Watch figures to include children.  It is something we hoped would never arise and the sooner such practice ceases the better from the INMO point of view.” 

The INMO Trolley Watch counts the number of patients for whom a decision to admit has been made, but who are still waiting for a bed at 8am.  INMO Ward Watch records those patients moved to wards but still waiting for a bed.