3 December 2022, Saturday
By Tony Forde
Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD today launched Cork’s first Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme on the northside of Cork city
The Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, led by Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health, HSE, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Cork City Council and local community groups, offers the public and health practitioners increased health and wellbeing programmes on their doorstep to support healthier lifestyles and to empower people to make healthier choices.
This morning’s launch was held at Hollyhill Library. The northside of Cork City is one of 19 community areas around the country where this cross-government initiative is being started.
Taoiseach Michael Martin TD said: “I am delighted to see this programme being delivered in Cork. The Healthy Communities Programme will support not only the physical and mental health of the people of Cork but will also positively influence other factors that determine health such as in education, social support and the built environment.”
Cork City Council CE, Ann Doherty said: “Cork City Council’s Community Section already do a lot of work with our interagency partners and with community organisations on the northside of Cork to improve quality of life through our Healthy Cities agenda. It is heartening to see this partnership and engagement being further enhanced”.
Head of Health and Wellbeing with the HSE/Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Gabrielle O’Keeffe said that the ongoing, yearly investment just over €1million by the HSE will fund the delivery of a range of programmes which will allow people in the community to optimise their health and wellbeing.
“This investment is a long-term commitment to the community. We in the HSE will fund and support these programmes, working in collaboration with established community groups, to help improve and promote healthier lifestyles in this Sláintecare Healthy Community,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
The HSE-supported programmes are:
A free Stop Smoking Service
We Can Quit Smoking Cessation Programme (see more at this video link)
Healthy Food Made Easy (see more at this video link)
Social Prescribing Service
Make Every Contact Count (MECC).
In addition, a new Integrated Alcohol Service will provide dedicated services to support people with identified needs around alcohol use.
The Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme will also fund new posts including staff working at community level within Cork City Council and the HSE to engage, support and coordinate support and services to the community in an effective manner. For example, a Community Food and Nutrition Worker will be in place next year.
A once off total fund of €250,000 has been made available. The focus of this fund, the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Community Enhancement Scheme, is to support projects through Cork City Council that will benefit the health and wellbeing of those who live on Cork City’s northside. In collaboration with the local community and other stakeholders, Cork City Council identified projects that support the increased use of, and access to, amenities in their areas and that encourage an improved sense of community.