The Government Plan for Living with COVID-19: Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021 highlights the important role that individual and community resilience will play in contributing to our ongoing response to COVID-19.
Today’s launch is a call to action to everyone across our society. It is an invitation to individuals, communities, voluntary groups, sporting organisations, those involved in creativity and the arts, local heritage and history, businesses, as well as local and national government to find ways to support everyone to discover new activities and routines that will do us good.
The “Keep Well” campaign is aimed at showing people of all ages how we can mind our own physical and mental health and wellbeing by adding healthy and helpful habits to our daily and weekly routines. It will provide guidelines, information, and tips on things that will help us keep well through the coming months. All of this will be available on gov.ie/healthyireland
Today’s launch includes the allocation of funding from Sláintecare to support a number of initiatives through the Healthy Ireland Fund that will be rolled out over the coming months. Information about local resources and initiatives will also be available through Ireland’s Local Authorities.
This launch builds on the “In This Together” campaign which happened earlier in the year.
The “Keep Well” campaign is focussed on five main themes:
• Keeping active - keeping active and being outdoors, even during the winter, is important to help physical and mental health and wellbeing.
Sport Ireland is leading a series of initiatives that will support people to stay active in their own local areas throughout the winter. In addition, sporting organisations and clubs are invited to develop ways to support local communities.
• Staying connected - staying connected with people, addressing isolation, supporting volunteerism and initiatives that support person-to-person connection is important to our wellbeing.
Building on the Community Call response earlier in the year, Local Authorities are being supported to provide a local community helpline and befriending service. Working with partner organisations, including An Garda Síochána, NGOs and Volunteer Ireland, there will be a particular emphasis on identifying and supporting those most at risk of isolation.
• Switching off and being creative - switching off and being creative or learning something new, getting back to nature and finding ways to relax can help our general wellbeing.
The Local Authorities and libraries, with advice from the Creative Ireland Programme, and working with partners at national and local level, will provide a range of initiatives to support individual and community creativity in the arts, crafting, culture and heritage.
• Eating well - by nourishing our bodies and minds, we can develop a better connection between the food we eat and how we feel and positively impact our physical and mental wellbeing.
Bord Bia will provide information and resources to support healthy eating this winter. Safefood will implement the next phase of their “START” campaign, focussing on making the most of family time and adding healthy habits. In addition, the network of libraries around the country will facilitate a major initiative with Grow It Yourself in early 2021, to support more people to grow their own food – in whatever small way they can – helping to forge greater connections between growing food and eating well and develop community networks.
• Minding your mood – equipping people with information on where to go if they need support. This will also be linked with the local community helpline to ensure that people can access the support they need.
The HSE will launch a series of “Minding Your Wellbeing” resources in the coming days. In addition, the Children and Young Peoples’ Services Committees (CYPSC) around the country are being supported to provide enhanced services to children, young people and families over the coming months.