Healthy way forward for Limerick communities

At the launch of the Slaintecare Healthy Communities project were Coordinator Ger Fahy, Mayor Francis Foley, Minister of State Frank Feighan and Local Development Officer Tanya Carey.

LESSONS on healthy cooking on a budget, help to meet new friends, and supports to quit smoking are among the offerings available in a scheme officially launched in Limerick this week.

The launch of Limerick Sláintecare Healthy Communities is the successful culmination of close collaboration between the Department of Health, the HSE, Limerick City and County Council, Paul Partnership, Limerick Social Services Council, and local communities.

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.

Last Monday, Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing, and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD, visited Southill Hub to launch Limerick as a Sláintecare Healthy Community location.

The Limerick Sláintecare catchment areas include Southill, Ballynanty, Moyross, Prospect, Ballinacurra Weston, Ballinacurra Gardens, Janesboro, parts of Limerick city around Parnell Street and Gerald Griffin Street, King’s Island, Rathbane, Garryowen, Pennywell, Mulgrave Street, Woodland Park and areas on the Old Cork Road.

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For administration purposes, all the areas in the following Electoral Divisions are included St Laurence, Galvone (A&B), Ballynanty, Prospect (A&B), Ballinacurra B, Glentworth (A, B, C), Rathbane, John’s (A&B) [King’s Island], Abbey (C&D) and Singland (A).

The event highlighted the Sláintecare Healthy Communities programmes that have been established across parts of Limerick.

The Healthy Communities 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 living in the Limerick City areas.

The Healthy Communities initiative includes:

*Programmes to support people to stop smoking

*Making Every Contact Count: Empowering local health professionals to deliver brief interventions and advice for patients to support healthy behaviours.

*Social Prescribing: A link worker for individuals to reduce social isolation and link them into community activities and services.

*Parenting Programmes: Healthy Families, Healthy Food Made Easy