Major fundraiser later this month for Galway woman's medical treatment

Danielle Burke

Danielle Burke

A concert will take place later this month to help raise funds for the medical costs of a young Galway woman who is receiving long-term psychiatric treatment in the UK.

Danielle Burke (23 ) suffers from borderline personality disorder, a serious mental illness which has resulted in her spending much of the last four years in hospital.

Despite receiving excellent psychiatric care in Dublin the severity of Ms Burke’s illness prevented her from engaging in the available therapies, namely dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT ), a programme which combines standard cognitive behavioural therapy techniques with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindfulness awareness. Research indicates that DBT is effective in treating patients with self-defeating behaviours associated with mood disorders, including self-injury and suicide attempts. Ms Burke suffered from all of these symptoms, and the two weekly sessions available in Dublin were insufficient for her needs.

She is currently receiving in-patient intensive DBT treatment in York in the UK, at a centre which specialises in treating women with complex psychological disorders. This centre offers excellent outcomes for patients who complete the one-year residential programme.

Ms Burke has been in York since October 2011. She is currently over halfway through the programme and has engaged very well with her treatment.

“This is the first time in four years that Danielle and we, her family, have seen some light at the end of the tunnel and we can see some semblance of our beautiful daughter Danielle, who is loved by everyone who comes in contact with her as she is such a kind and caring girl,” her parents, Jarlath and Helen Burke, said in a statement.

“We applied for some funding from the HSE West but were refused this on many occasions as we were told that we did not satisfy the criteria for treatment abroad, so we had to desperately seek funding from elsewhere as Danielle was so unwell, so we borrowed as much money as we could from various sources to start her treatment. We were fortunate to be able to get Danielle the care she needed and deserved, as we know had we not, Danielle would not be with us today. Some funding has been provided from our health insurance for her treatment but we are desperate to come up with the remainder to finish this treatment.

“As you can imagine, this has taken a heavy toll on us, her parents and her two brothers, both emotionally and financially in addition to trying to cope on a daily basis with Danielle being unwell and also coping with her being apart from us. It is important that this appeal and fundraising event also serve to highlight mental health issues and to continue to agitate for better and equitable mental health services in this country. There is a dearth of therapeutic therapies and psychologists to provide essential therapies for people with mental health problems.”

A Night For Danielle will take place on Monday July 30 at The Ardilaun. Galway Bay FM's Ollie Turner will MC the event, which will feature music from the Gerry Kennedy House Band and guests, Silkwood, Paul Grealish, and Fergal Kearney, world champion Irish dancer and Trad on the Prom regular. Tickets are €10 and there will also be some great prizes raffled on the night, including signed Galway hurling jerseys, a one-off hat designed by milliner Edel Ramberg specially for the occasion, and an original painting by Susan Webb.

Donations can also be made to Bank Of Ireland, Eyre Square, Galway, sort code 90-38-16, account number 96592265. Any funds raise above what is required to fund Danielle's treatment will be shared among Pieta House, Aware, and SOSAD Ireland, three charities which work to help people with depression and other mental illnesses.


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