Healthy Ireland launched its implementation plan for community health services in Cork this afternoon at Muckross House, which plays host to Killarney parkrun. The plan includes more than 180 detailed actions to improve the health and wellbeing of staff and the wider population.
The five-year plan, launched alongside Kerry’s Community Healthcare plan, is called COMPASS as it points to ways for wellbeing for the entire population.
Today’s events in Cork and Kerry featured not just HSE and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare staff, but also partners in the wider community, including Killarney and Tralee parkrunners. parkrun Ireland Country Manager Matt Shields said
“If we are serious about creating a healthier and happier Ireland then no single organisation can provide that outcome – collaboration is key and we all have a role to play.
“Since the HSE began contributing to parkrun Ireland’s funding five years ago we have seen more than 100,000 different people walk, run and volunteer at Ireland’s 87 weekly parkruns and junior parkruns, with the number of events and participants increasing every month.
“The benefits of accessible, enjoyable and sociable physical activity are just the beginning though when it comes to impacting public health. Friendships, community cohesion, access to open space and fresh air, skill development and professional empowerment through volunteering are just some of the reasons why participation in parkrun can lead to improved mental and physical health and happiness.”
The Healthy Ireland framework recognises that the health and wellbeing of the population is changing, and many trends are leading the country to an unhealthy (and costly) future. For example, almost half of Irish people over 50 have at least one chronic disease.
Implementing the Healthy Ireland plan for Cork Kerry Community Healthcare will mean a shift in focus to promoting health and wellbeing, and the prevention of chronic disease.
Cork Kerry Community Healthcare will partner with other agencies across both counties to address health inequalities and will also work with individuals to raise awareness of lifestyle risk factors. The other seven Community Healthcare Organisations in the country are also set to publish a Healthy Ireland implementation plan.