Pictured at the launch of Healthy Limerick are Councillor Gerome Scanlon, Minister of State Catherine Byrne, Mayor of Limerick Stephen Keary, and Mo Foley Walsh, coordinator of Healthy Limerick. Picture: Frances Watkins/ ilovelimerick.
Healthy Limerick to improve wellbeing through partnership approach
When it comes to being healthy, what does that mean to you? Is it all about diet, exercise, and access to healthcare? Or is there something more to it!
Many factors affect our health – where we live, our environment, our genetics, our income and education level, our relationship with friends and family. These factors (‘determinants of health’) are often outside the direct influence of health and social services.
Healthy Limerick is based on the concept of Healthy Communities/ Cities which aim to promote a comprehensive and whole-system approach to planning for health and wellbeing.
The partnership approach between Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and the HSE is seen as a key factor in recognising the important role that all parties play in addressing the key determinants of health and wellbeing of people across Limerick.
The Healthy Limerick Project will set up systems to support all partners to work together.
Healthy Limerick will be delivering the key goals and actions from local and national strategies and health profiles which have a key role to play in improving the health and wellbeing of Limerick people.
These include Healthy Ireland, Limerick City and County Council’s Corporate Plan, Age-Friendly and the Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP).
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Stephen Keary said: “I’m particularly pleased to see that this is very much a partnership approach to working. All the relevant agencies are coming together to create a Healthy Limerick where everyone is empowered to enjoy positive wellbeing which is supported at every level of society and achieved by working together.”
“Healthy Limerick’s vision will be realised by all stakeholders working together to identify priorities and to develop collaborative approaches to promote health and wellbeing in Limerick city and county.”
“This is yet another example of the Limerick public services and agencies working together.”
Speaking at the launch Minister of State with Responsibility for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne TD said: “Healthy Ireland identifies the need for whole-of-government and whole-of-society support as critical success factors in its implementation. And in particular, it emphasizes the key roles which local stakeholders play in that partnership.”
“I believe that we cannot achieve the vision of Healthy Ireland without the involvement of every Local Authority in Ireland, especially the involvement of Local Community Development Committees. Improving health and wellbeing requires systematic change, and your work on Healthy Limerick demonstrates a commitment to making that happen.”
Chair of the Limerick Local Community Development Committee Cllr Jerome Scanlan said: “The LCDC is helping to create and sustain healthy places for people to be born, grow, live, work and age in. The overarching aim of our Local Economic and Community Plan is to promote the well-being and quality of life of all citizens and communities in Limerick through a range of integrated goals, objectives, and actions.”
“Healthy Limerick has been led by the Limerick LCDC right from the earliest discussions over two years ago, up to its formal establishment last November and on an ongoing basis since. This is a significant achievement, and Limerick was the first in the country to make this happen.”
Chair of Healthy Limerick Steering Group Tony Quilty said: “The Launch of Healthy Limerick is the culmination of a lot of hard work, which is underpinning our underlying theme of social connectedness and connectivity, and guided by Limerick City and County Council’s excellent LECP. It has shown the strength of the relationship between the HSE and Limerick City and County Council, as well as the effectiveness of the LCDC, where elected representatives, HSE, PAUL Partnership, Ballyhoura, West Limerick Resources, Department of Social Protection, the Education and Training Board and most importantly the Public Participation Network (PPN) have the opportunity to bring a variety of perspectives to the table. This connectivity and working together has advanced many projects, and today sees the very welcome launch of Healthy Limerick, which we are very proud of.”
Mo Foley Walsh, Co-ordinator of Healthy Limerick said: “Health is everybody’s business. It’s about connecting the dots. Everyone is aware of the benefits of mental and physical health and wellbeing, but it’s about agencies, companies, and voluntary groups coming together to recognise this and to work towards these goals.”
“Being healthy is about much more than eating well, sleeping better, not smoking or access to healthcare. Around 60 percent of the key factors for overall health and well-being are related to education, jobs, where we live, and relationships with family, friends, and others.”
Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Conn Murray added: “Healthy Limerick is a significant step forward in helping to improve the overall health and well-being of the people of Limerick. What is very important is the collaborative approach from all the partners. We are all working together to make this happen.”
Chief Officer HSE Mid West Community Healthcare Bernard Gloster said: “This is yet another example of what we can achieve by the process we have now established on a formal footing of public services and agencies working together LK Working Together. A Healthy Limerick has to be a key focus in what we do.”
The launch of Healthy Limerick coincides with Limerick City and County Council becoming a member of National Healthy Cities and Counties Network.
This is affiliated to the World Health Organisation’s international healthy communities movement. The Healthy Cities and Counties approach to health and wellbeing involves local authorities working to improve health and well-being of all through political commitment, working in partnership with local stakeholders (public, private, voluntary and community sector organisations) and supporting innovative projects.
The main goal is to put health and health equity high on local authorities’ social, economic and political agendas, and those of its partners.
A healthy city and county is defined by a process, not an outcome. It is not one that has achieved a particular health status.
This approach seeks to put health high on the political and social agenda in Limerick and to build a strong movement for public health at the local level. The requirements are a commitment to health and a process and structure to achieve it. Limerick now has both.
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