On the 26th June Minister Catherine Byrne T.D, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, in the presence of the Mayor of South Dublin County, Cllr Vicki Casserly, officially launched the Healthy South Dublin Strategy. Launching the Strategy, Minister Byrne said; “Our vision for a Healthy Ireland is one where everyone, young and old, is empowered and supported to improve their health, wellbeing and quality of life. This plan for a Healthy South Dublin shows a strong partnership at the local level and a commitment to implementing key actions across all communities such as promoting physical activity and healthy eating and supporting people to reduce their alcohol intake and quit smoking.  It is particularly encouraging to see a strong focus on young people and actions to support good physical, mental and sexual health. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in developing this Strategy for a Healthy South Dublin. Working together, we can make the healthy choice the easy choice”.

Healthy South Dublin is led by South Dublin County Council and the HSE, with members from the ETB, Tusla, South Dublin County Volunteer Centre, South Dublin County Partnership, Technical University Tallaght and Tallaght Hospital. The launch took place as part of an interactive workshop taking place in the Russell Building in Tallaght. The Healthy South Dublin Strategy, which was developed with input from a wide variety of local people and organisations under the auspices of the Local Community Development Committee and the Children’s Services Committee, will for the first time identify local actions that will improve the health and wellbeing of people living and working in South Dublin County. The actions cover six areas identified by the national Health Ireland Strategy: Healthy Weight, Physical Activity, Mental health & wellbeing, Sexual Health, Alcohol and Tobacco.

Each of us has the power to make changes in our lives to improve health and well-being. The first step in this process is developing an awareness of a particular challenge or a problem, such as giving up smoking, getting fitter, learning cooking skills or managing anxiety. The second step is to get help addressing that challenge by identifying and working with appropriate health care or social service providers. A Strategy for a Healthy South Dublin 2019 – 2022 brings together a wealth of information on the national and local level policies and programmes available to residents of South Dublin County. It identifies a wide range of ongoing initiatives that can be accessed in the community and new programmes that will come into being over the timeline of the strategy. The strategy will be implemented in the coming years in the context of Healthy South Dublin, which is part of the Healthy City and County network. The network is aligned with the World Health Organisation’s longstanding approach to improve health and wellbeing through the development of local collaborations.