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Physical activity & mental health main priorities of Healthy Clare plan

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*Students of Holy Family N.S. Ennis, pictured at glór for the launch of the Healthy Clare Strategic Plan 2019-2021 with L-R, Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; Mayor of Clare, Councillor Michael Begley; Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, T.D.; and Andrew Dundas, Chair of Clare LCDC (Local Community Development Committee). Photograph by Eamon Ward

A three year strategy aimed at improving physical and mental health in Co Clare aims to deliver on a range of activities that will underpin the health and wellbeing of the county’s residents.

Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne, T.D., and Mayor of Clare, Councillor Michael Begley launched The Healthy Clare Strategic Plan 2019-2021 which is being implemented by Clare LCDC (Local Community Development Committee). It identifies a number of community-based activities that will impact positively on people lives in terms of their physical, mental and sexual health and which will also challenge and combat the negative effects of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

“What this Strategy does is lay the foundations for all decision making by the members of the LCDC in supporting the delivery of a range of activities that will underpin the health and wellbeing of the people of County Clare. The delivery of this blueprint will also be enabled by the Healthy Ireland Fund,” Mayor of Clare, Cllr Michael Begley said.

Andrew Dundas, Chair of the LCDC acknowledged “The determinants of health and well-being are many and their interactions complex. They encompass physical, psychological, social, economic, environmental, political and cultural factors. The action plan aims to exploit the synergies of inter-agency co-operation and community engagement where goodwill and collaboration will generate new activities and enhanced outcomes for communities and individuals alike.”

The majority of targeted actions will be delivered through the Healthy Ireland Fund which will form the basis of core funding for the delivery of the Healthy Clare Strategy.  Multiple agencies and organisations who are active across the health priorities outlined in the strategy, may apply annually for this funding to progress their own programme of work which will enhance the delivery of the national strategy.

Out of the 6 health themes in the strategy, Physical Activity and Mental Health have been identified as strategic priorities for County Clare. Annual work plans will be developed once the Healthy Clare Working Group is established.  Among the actions already identified under the scheme is an ‘Imagination Playground’ for physical and mental well-being of junior infant children; Mind, Body & Soul initiatives by Clare Youth Service; and multi-sport for all courses by Clare Sports Partnership.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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