Patients ‘cannot afford’ GP visits

SOME people suffering from mental health issues may be avoiding visits to their GP because they cannot afford it, the Samaritans said yesterday.

Director of Samaritans Ireland Suzanne Costello said there was “anecdotal evidence” some people were avoiding trips to the doctors so as to save cash.

In-depth interviews with working-class men in the 30 to 50 age group conducted by the Samaritans also indicated that many of them have been deeply affected by the pressures of the recession, and in some cases have been violent or angry before accepting their situation.

The research was compiled as part of the Samaritans campaign Men on the Ropes, which targets older men. Ms Costello said bottling up depression was a serious problem in older age groups and men needed to speak more freely about their mental health.

She said some men in this age group were also more likely to think about taking their own life on railways, which is why Irish Rail is involved.

She added resources needed to be invested in frontline services, including out-of-hours, rather than in administration. or call 1850609090


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