Islanders come out in force to make health a priority

A series of free Healthy Ireland health and wellbeing days were delivered across Inis Oírr, Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, and Inishbofin islands over the past month, with great attendance from Islanders and involvement from the local schools.

Over 200 people took part in the events, which included health screenings (pulse, blood pressure, weight, and BMI checks); healthy cooking tips and Q&A discussions with a Croí Dietitian and residents of the islands about changing dietary habits and impact on health; yoga; relationship and sexual health education; resources on mental health and wellness; exercise and fitness tips; citizen information advice; and more.

“This initiative was a coming together of diverse community groups all with a unified aim to promote health and well-being throughout the islands off County Galway. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle across all age groups. The good news is that many health conditions such as heart disease and stroke are preventable and our aim is to offer individuals the opportunity to engage in risk factor screening along with offering practical advice in relation to healthy eating, physical activity, overall health and wellness and lots more,” says Suzanne Seery, Lead Dietitian, Croí.

Healthy Ireland is a Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society. The series of health and wellbeing events on the Islands were supported by Galway County LCDC’s Healthy County Galway initiative. Many community and voluntary organisations were present. These included Croí, the Heart & Stroke Charity; Galway Rural Development, Healthy Ireland at your Library; Western Drugs and Alcohol Taskforce; Galway Sports Partnership; Galway Citizen Information Centre; Irish Rural Link; Pieta House; and AIDS West. The Healthy Ireland Fund is supported by the Department of Health, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Pictured: Members of the Healthy Islands team, made up of 10+ community groups from across county Galway.

After Croí’s visit to Inisbofin, our Dietitian Suzanne and placement student Christine received a lovely note from the students at Inishbofin National School, and are delighted to see that they had fun learning about healthy eating!

“We learnt so much about healthy eating, and we will keep all the information you told us for the rest of our lives.”