Winter 2020 + COVID19 = Depression? Govt launches #KeepWell campaign

3 November 2020
By Tom Collins
tom@TheCork.ie

The Government’s new Community Resilience campaign: #KeepWell

The launch of the Government’s #KeepWell campaign is an invitation to individuals, communities, voluntary groups, sporting organisations, those involved in creativity and the arts, local heritage and businesses across Cork to find ways to support everyone as we navigate the crisis.

Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard – who is based North of Carrigaline, the ‘village’ with the highest COVID19 rates outside of the City – said: “The Government’s new Community Resilience campaign, Keep Well, is aimed at showing people of all ages how we can mind our own physical and mental health and wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines.”

The Keep Well campaign is focussed on five main themes:

1. Keeping active – keeping active and being outdoors, even during the winter, is important to help physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Sport Ireland is leading a series of initiatives that will support people to stay active in their own local areas throughout the winter. In addition, sporting organisations are developing ways to support local communities.

2. Staying connected – staying connected with people, addressing isolation, supporting volunteerism and initiatives that support person-to-person connection is important to our wellbeing.
Building on the Community Call response earlier in the year, Local Authorities are being supported to provide a local community helpline and befriending service. Working with partner organisations, including An Garda Síochána, NGOs and Volunteer Ireland, there will be a particular emphasis on identifying and supporting those most at risk of isolation.

3. Switching off and being creative – switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature and finding ways to relax can help our general wellbeing.
The Local Authorities and libraries, with advice from Creative Ireland, and working with partners at national and local level, will provide a range of initiatives to support individual and community creativity in the arts, crafting, culture and heritage.

4. Eating well – by nourishing your body and mind we can develop a better connection between the food we eat and how we feel and positively impact our physical and mental wellbeing.
Bord Bia will provide information and resources to support healthy eating this winter. In early 2021, a major initiative will commence to support more people to grow their own food – in whatever small way they can – helping to forge greater connections between growing food and eating well and building community networks.

5. Managing your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support e.g. HSE’s Your Mental Health website. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.
Senator Lombard continued: “The HSE will launch a series of “Minding Your Wellbeing” resources in the coming days.

In addition, the Children and Young Peoples’ Services Committees (CYPSC) around the country are being supported to provide enhanced services to children, young people and families over the coming months.

“The launch of this campaign is to help everyone across Cork in supporting each other and ensuring we all #KeepWell this winter and throughout the many challenges of this pandemic.”

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