MAJELLA O'Donnell has launched a scathing attack over mental health services in Ireland after a friend was quoted €300 an hour to see a psychiatrist.
The wife of singer Daniel O'Donnell too to Facebook to vent her frustration.
In the post, Mrs O'Donnell spoke about a friend, Anne, who feels "anxious, unmotivated, irritated and generally depressed" and, while she has been taking antidepressants, her relationship is also starting to suffer.
"She [Anne] wanted to get to the bottom of why she feels this way," Majella O'Donnell wrote. "She phoned a psychiatrist to see if she could talk to someone professional."
Anne was told that she would have to be referred by her GP, wouldn't be seen until at least February and it would cost her €300 an hour for the psychiatrist.
"What the f**k is that all about?! I get so bloody angry at this kind of thing.
"Here is a young woman realising that she has a problem and trying to do something positive about it and this is what the outcome is! She went back to her GP who once again prescribed antidepressants, a stronger one this time, and that's it.
"She doesn't really want to take them as she would like to understand why she feels the way she does but she feels she has no choice.
Mrs O'Donnell added that she "can accept that a GP needs to refer you but what really p***es me off is the fact that no one could see her until at least February."
"But that doesn't really matter," she added, "because she could never afford the €300 per hour fee that is being charged.
"It is shameful, how dare anyone charge that kind of money to help another human being who is in a desperate situation.
"That sort of fee cannot be justified! We have wonderful support groups around the country like Pieta House, Aware, Mental Health Ireland, Grow and lots more, doing their best to help people with their mental wellbeing but when someone tries to help themselves before things have reached the point of no return, this is what happens."
She added that Ireland needs to "sort this problem of accessing psychiatrists."
"If there is a shortage then we need to actively start incentivising medical students to look at psychiatry as their speciality.
"There are so many new pressures in our world today that problems with our mental health are becoming and will continue to be a huge issue for people.
"Why do we have to wait until a person is so desperate for help that they are considering taking their own lives before we are willing to do something about it."
Majella O'Donnell has been very open in the past about her struggles with depression.
In 2011, she told the Donegal Daily how she considered committing suicide after secretly battling depression for years when her marriage was falling apart in England in the early nineties.
“It is the most dreadful disease you could possibly have. You are in this hole and it’s way, way down and everyone else is at the top. Nobody can do anything for you, absolutely nobody.
“You hear people who have committed suicide and people saying ‘why didn’t they come to me?’
“But you genuinely believe the world would be much better without you including your children. I did with mine.
“I honesty believed if I was gone their lives would much more…of course they would miss me for a few months but then they wouldn’t have this constant mad woman that’s down.
“I just thought so many times I’m better off out of this. I did consider (suicide) numerous times but I didn’t have the guts to go through with it."
Mrs O'Donnell said her GP told her it was a chemical imbalance and that antidepressants would "balance it."
"I haven’t been (depressed) since I started taking the anti-depressants," she said. "Thanks be to God. I was very lucky and they worked great for me.”