Letters to the Editor: Mental wellbeing at all time low for young people

Letters to the Editor: Mental wellbeing at all time low for young people

As the leaving cert draws to a close I can’t help but think of the mental strain and anguish young students are left to deal with following the exams.

For the majority, the last 15 months has been an incredibly difficult time, often filled with chaos and uncertainty but for Leaving Cert students the added stress of exams has only heightened this.

The leaving cert can be traumatic for many and the wait for results day can be just as distressing.

As a clinical psychologist and founder of MyMind, a mental wellbeing service provider, I have seen first-hand the effects the last 15 months have had on the youth of today. 

In 2020, 18% of those using our services were between the ages of 16 and 24. The most prevalent issues were anxiety (26%), depression (15%), and stress (8%).

Adolescents are at a very sensitive stage of their development in that most mental health issues are established during adolescence.

Not only this, the implications of Covid-19 have had a significant impact on general mental wellbeing as young people have found themselves stripped from social interaction and the usual milestones leaving cert students get to enjoy: Post-exam holidays, graduation, debs, etc.

Mental wellbeing for these students is at an all-time low. While it is widely known that mental health in adolescents has been deteriorating for over a decade, I ask that we be mindful of this year’s graduating class and the incredibly stressful period they have endured, and for some, will continue to endure.

Resources are available and they do not need to suffer alone.

MyMind is a community-based mental health service which works towards giving every person in Ireland equal access to mental health support by offering services on a discounted scale based on a person’s employment status.

Krystian Fikert

Founder of MyMind, mental health service provider, Cork, Dublin and Limerick

State must own land for hospital

In the context of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) debate it is interesting to consider the question of ground rent. For historic reasons much of the land in Ireland was owned by absentee landlords. They were willing to lease out the land. 

If you built on land on which you held a lease you owned the building but the landlord owned the land on which it rested. Consequently you had to pay ground rent annually for the length of the lease. 

Eventually the government brought in a bill which enabled you to compulsorily buy out the lease for a multiple of the annual rent.

With this in mind it would be crazy for the government to build the hospital on land on which it would hold a lease, no matter how long, but not own.

In fairness to the nuns they have stated clearly that they have never been approached to discuss selling the land. 

I would have hoped that the government would have responded by announcing that they were now in discussion with the nuns to set up an agreed process of setting a value on the land which they might then purchase. 

The State must hold the land freehold, to avoid having an ethos imposed upon a public hospital.

Brendan Casserly,



Buy the land or relocate NMH site

If, as the board of Saint Vincent’s hospital has said, that it wants to retain ownership of the land on which the €800m-plus NMH is to be located ‘for governance and operational reasons’, the necessary implication is that the Board of St Vincent’s wants to control the running of the NMH. So much for so called clinical independence.

A 99- or 150-year lease of the land means that St Vincent’s would own the NMH after that time and makes no sense irrespective of the likely need to refurbish after that time. 

We the people need to own the land on which our NMH is located. If the land cannot be purchased, it should be acquired under a compulsory purchase order or the NMH located at Tallaght hospital site or elsewhere.

Kevin T Finn


Co Cork

Interesting life of John Loder (Lowe)

In that now ionic photo of Patrick Pearse formally surrendering to Britain’s General Lowe, there is of course a third British officer present, leaning heel against the wall cigarette in hand.

This man was in fact Lowe’s son, William John. After completion of his stint in the army, William enjoyed a lengthy movie career, acting under the name John Loder.

Among his co-stars were Bette Davis, Merle Oberon and Humphrey Bogart. Indeed in ‘How Green Was my Valley’ he appeared with our own Maureen O’Hara.

Loder obviously had a fondness for wedding cake and married four times. He died aged 90 in 1988. A somewhat interesting life.

Tom Gilsenan


Dublin 9

Politicians passing the buck to gardaí

Concern has been raised by many, on the possible violation of Liquor Licence Laws, by allowing consumption of alcohol outside specifically licensed areas.

Some politicians have said this matter should be left “to the discretion” of the gardaí.

This is I believe “unfair” and “unreasonable”.

Politicians, not gardaí, should make the decisions.
Politicians, not gardaí, should make the decisions.

The gardaí have a duty and responsibility to report “violations” of the law.

Now some politicians it seems want gardaí to “ignore” violations of the law.

This matter could be resolved very simply by politicians facing their responsibilities by ensuring appropriate amendments be put in place to facilitate consumption of alcohol outside “licensed” premises.

So politicians should do what they are paid to do and not pass the “buck” to members of An Garda Síochána.

Michael A Moriarty



Appeal for travel isolation exemption

I made a mistake when checking rules to enter Ireland and missed the bit about having to isolate in a home or B&B but I saw I could appeal on humanitarian grounds to be exempt from isolation.

So my appeal is: I’m an Irish citizen living in Surrey, aged 81, suffering from two cancers one of which is leukaemia I am getting weaker but am stable enough on tablets. However, I cannot guarantee I could travel next year.

I am fully vaccinated for Covid-19, as are my friends and cousins

I am willing to take the PCR test. I have sent two air mail letters to the minister for health without an acknowledgement of any sort, not even an email.

Where’s the welcome to Ireland gone?

Eltin Cowhig



Rotate duties of gardaí and navy

I think the Irish Navy and An Garda Síochána should rotate between their jobs as a temporary measure.

They both have defensive strategies learned in their colleges and teach each other new things.

The gardaí can teach the navy defensive strategies if unarmed. The navy should patrol on land with the police. This helps deter shootings or drugs.

Sharon Murphy


Compo claim

Delighted to read Fur farmers to be compensated for lost earnings after practice is banned ( Irish Examiner, June 22).

Instead of ‘compensating’ farmers shouldn’t we be helping them repurpose their fur farms into wildlife reservations for mink and other animals who were used for fur? 

Compensate the mink too.

Louisa Moss


Dublin 7

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