“KEEP WELL” Campaign launched for County Galway

The Community Response Forum, which is a partnership of public agencies, Community, Voluntary and Sporting Organisations in County Galway has launched a local “KEEP WELL” Campaign aimed at helping individuals and communities to mind their physical and mental health and wellbeing over the coming months.    In welcoming the campaign, Kevin Kelly, Chief Executive of Galway County Council and Chair of the County Galway Community Response Forum, said: “We recognise that people’s lives and routines have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, and some people have withdrawn from active social engagement due to fear and anxiety, or to protect themselves.  Our challenge is to support individuals and communities to keep up their physical and mental wellbeing and strengthen their resilience over the coming months through a range of activities and supports to be put in place.  Our immediate focus is putting in place a number of initiatives to support people in the run-up to this Christmas which will be especially challenging as we continue to stay safe by staying apart, and I welcome the support of all the Organisations involved.”

 

Community Call Helpline

Galway County Council has a helpline in place 7 days per week to link individuals in with local Community, Voluntary and Sporting Organisations if they need practical supports such as collection and delivery of shopping, prescriptions and other essential household items.   We understand that people can feel isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic so we are available to chat to anyone who may be feeling lonely at this time and can offer a regular call back to check in on you.   Please reach out if you need social support – freephone 1800 92 88 94 or landline 091 509 390 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

 

GAA Legends ‘on-call’

For many, the GAA is a huge social outlet and not being able to attend games, or social occasions to talk about the games, is an absence which is keenly felt.  The GAA have contacted GAA legends from the City and County who have kindly agreed to talk to GAA fans who might be alone or feeling lonely at this time and would like to have a chat.    Pat Kearney, Chairperson of Galway GAA said: “We are delighted to deliver this initiative again in the weeks running up to Christmas so please reach out to request it for anyone who would love to chat all things GAA with a legend of the game.”  If you would like to arrange a call on behalf of a family member or friend in the City or County, please call the Galway County Community Call Helpline by Freephone 1800 92 88 94 or Landline 091 509 390.

 

County Cathaoirleach ‘on-call’

James Charity, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, has also decided to reach out to communities and is offering to write a personalised Christmas Card or letter to any nominated individuals in the weeks running up to Christmas.    Cllr. Charity says “In many communities, isolation and detachment are the very real results of the increased restrictions that we have come to be familiar with over the last few months and it’s important to keep a sense of connectedness and hope in our communities to build on and tap into over the coming months”.    If you would like to arrange a Christmas Card or Letter to be sent from the Cathaoirleach to a relative or friend who may be alone, in a Nursing Home, or could do with a nice postal surprise, please call the Galway County Community Call Helpline by Freephone 1800 92 88 94 or Landline 091 509 390.

 

Keep Well Booklet for Older People

HSE Community Services in Galway have joined with Galway County Council to support older people to mind their physical and mental health and wellbeing over the coming months by producing a 20-page booklet and accompanying videos.  Explaining how the campaign came about, Alma Joyce, HSE Occupational Therapist Manager said “We are concerned about the effects that the pandemic is having on older people’s health and wellbeing, which we are seeing in our clinics in the health centres and other healthcare settings. We want to provide practical advice on staying active and encourage older people to keep a routine, engage in their everyday activities, stay connected to family and not hesitate to reach out if help is needed.”   Dr Michelle Canavan, Consultant Geriatrician at Galway University Hospital adds that she has seen the need for older people to make positive changes to their routines on a daily basis in her clinic.  She said, “Individuals need to keep moving, a short walk around the house or garden. Do something you enjoy in the morning and in the afternoon. We can all do something to actively minimise the effect that this pandemic is having on our health.”  If you would like a copy of the free booklet which also contains useful telephone numbers for support and practical advice, please call the Galway County Community Call Helpline by Freephone 1800 92 88 94 or Landline 091 509 390. The accompanying video series is available by searching “Community Healthcare West” on YouTube.

 

Launching the “Keep Well” booklet for older people are (L-R) James Geoghegan, Galway University Hospitals; Bernie Kelly, Galway County Library; Mary McGann, Galway County Council; Alma Joyce, HSE, Dr Michelle Canavan, HSE.

 

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

 

The National “Keep Well” Campaign was launched on 29th October by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D, and Minister of State for the Department of Health, with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D.

 

The Campaign aims to support people and communities to mind their physical and mental health over the coming months by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines.  It will provide guidelines, information, and tips on things that will help us keep well through the coming months. All of this will be available on gov.ie/healthyireland

 

The “Keep Well” campaign is focussed on five main themes:

 

  • 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 and clubs are invited to develop ways to support local communities.

 

  • 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.

 

  • 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 the Creative Ireland Programme, 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.

 

  • Eating well – by nourishing our bodies and minds, 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. Safefood will implement the next phase of their “START” campaign, focussing on making the most of family time and adding healthy habits.  In addition, the network of libraries around the country will facilitate a major initiative with Grow It Yourself in early 2021, 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 develop community networks.

 

  • Minding your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.

 

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.

 Launching the “Keep Well” booklet for older people are (L-R) James Geoghegan, Galway University Hospitals; Bernie Kelly, Galway County Library; Mary McGann, Galway County Council; Alma Joyce, HSE, Dr Michelle Canavan, HSE.

 

 

 

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

The National “Keep Well” Campaign was launched on 29th October by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly T.D, and Minister of State for the Department of Health, with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D.

 

The Campaign aims to support people and communities to mind their physical and mental health over the coming months by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines.  It will provide guidelines, information, and tips on things that will help us keep well through the coming months. All of this will be available on gov.ie/healthyireland

 

The “Keep Well” campaign is focussed on five main themes:

 

  • 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 and clubs are invited to develop ways to support local communities.

 

  • 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.

 

  • 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 the Creative Ireland Programme, 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.

 

  • Eating well – by nourishing our bodies and minds, 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. Safefood will implement the next phase of their “START” campaign, focussing on making the most of family time and adding healthy habits.  In addition, the network of libraries around the country will facilitate a major initiative with Grow It Yourself in early 2021, 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 develop community networks.

 

  • Minding your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.

 

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.

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