Saturday 27 December 2014

Bed found for girl with severe psychological disorders whose family want her taken into care

Saurya Cherfi

Published 02/09/2014 | 16:55

The Four Courts in Dublin
The Four Courts in Dublin

A secure psychiatric placement has been found for a teenage girl who has severe psychological disorders, a judge in the High Court heard today.

Barrister Sarah McKechnie, counsel for the HSE, told Mr Justice Kevin Cross that a placement had been found for the 16-year-old girl who will probably be moved there later today.

Ms McKechnie said the situation had been extremely difficult to achieve but the HSE and its director of mental health services, Jim Ryan, had managed to find a placement for the girl.

The court heard last Friday the girl had been assessed by a psychiatrist who had found she was suitable, under Mental Health laws, to be involuntarily admitted to a secure psychiatric unit.

Counsel for the girl’s mother had told the court there was no bed available for her and she would have to remain in a non-secure unit with three care staff looking after her at all times.

The family had sought orders compelling the HSE to have the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, placed at an appropriate unit.

Counsel earlier said that from a young age the teenager had exhibited severe behavioural difficulties which had deteriorated in recent years. She had absconded on several occasions from her home and non-secure placements.

She had climbed onto the roof of the unit, run into traffic and had been before the District Criminal Court after assaulting a staff member of a unit where she had been placed.

The court had heard her behaviour had deteriorated in recent years as she would refuse to use a toilet and had developed verbal tics including howling and barking.

The girl had very severe issues including “food obsessive compulsive disorder.”  She was currently showing signs of malnourishment as she refused to eat certain foods.

Following an adjournment, counsel told Judge Cross today that a bed in a secure psychiatric unit had been found and the legal proceedings were now moot.

The judge adjourned the case to a date in October for the court to get an update of the situation.

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