There will be Government presence in Athlone on Friday morning (December 9 ) when Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy, Deputy Frank Feighan, visits St Kieran’s Community Centre in Tormey Villas to launch Sláintecare Healthy Communities Westmeath.
The Sláintecare Healthy communities areas in Westmeath are the RAPID areas of Athlone and Mullingar.
Introduced nationally in 2021, Sláintecare Healthy Communities is a cross-Government initiative to deliver increased health and wellbeing services in 19 areas of greatest need across Ireland.
The launch of Sláintecare Healthy Communities Westmeath is the successful culmination of close collaboration between many partners. These partners include the Department of Health, the HSE and Westmeath County Council.
The launch will take place at 2.30pm in St Kieran’s Community Centre with a number of guest speakers including Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and National Drugs Strategy, Deputy Frank Feighan, Mr Des O’Flynn, Chief Officer, HSE Community Health Organisation Midlands Louth Meath and Ms Geraldine Lacey, CEO, Youth Work Ireland Midlands.
The event will highlight the Sláintecare Healthy Communities programmes that have been established in the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Westmeath targeted areas. The Healthy Community programmes aim to support people’s wellbeing within the community and provide better access to a range of services needed to help improve and promote healthier lifestyle behaviours. This work is supported by the Sláintecare Community Enhancement Fund which provided €250, 000 to deliver projects that will assist and impact on the health and wellbeing of people Sláintecare Healthy Communities Westmeath areas.
The projects include:
· Ashdale Woodlands Grove - Community Hub
· Sarsfield Square, Athlone Dry Room Project
· Willow Park, Athlone – Outdoor exercise equipment, Landscaping & enhancement plans for Community Centre.
· Battery Heights, Athlone - Linking to Services Project.
· Coosan Men’s Shed – Raised Beds Project.
· Athlone Family Resource Centre, Disability Access Lift Project.
· Athlone Garda RAPID - Community Minibus Project.
· Youth Work Ireland Midlands – Grange Community Hub.
The work is also supported by Westmeath County Council, Sláintecare Healthy Communities Local Development Officer Brigid Geoghegan and HSE Sláintecare Healthy Communities co-ordinator, Anthony O’Prey.
Sláintecare Healthy Communities programmes include:
· Stop Smoking Advisor – Offering one to one support and access to free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, lozenges, gum and mouth-spray ) to those who wish to quit smoking.
· We Can Quit – A friendly and supportive peer led stop smoking group delivered locally for men and women. It offers free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, lozenges, gum and mouth-spray ) to help people quit smoking and stay quit for good.
· Making Every Contact Count – Empowering local health professionals to deliver brief interventions and advice for patients to support healthy behaviours.
· Social Prescribing – A Social Prescribing link worker works with individuals to reduce social isolation and link them into community activities and services.
· Parenting Programmes – Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme ) aims to promote positive caring relationships between children, teenagers and their parents and to support parents in managing common behaviour and development issues through enhancing parents’ knowledge, skills and confidence.
· Healthy Food Made Easy – Community delivery of healthy cooking and nutrition programme. It offers insight into nutrition and cookery courses that helps people to change to a healthy diet, plan meals on a budget and make easy to cook meals.