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Let’s Keep Our Young People In Cork Active

It was Active School Week across the country between 23rd April and April 27th. With 21% of our schools in County Cork currently carrying the Active School Flag status, we thought that it’s the ideal time to reflect on the importance of keeping our young people in Cork active. We’ve also put together some info on some of the amenities and opportunities in our area, for young people to get involved and stay active all year round.

Active School Week

The Active School Flag is awarded to schools that strive to provide a physically educated and physically active school community throughout the year. There are around 90 schools in Cork who have been awarded an Active School Flag.

The week encourages schools and students to work together with parents, community and sporting and health organisations on a broad variety of physical activities.

At the launch of Active School Week 2018, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar commented on the aims of the initiative, saying: “We’re aiming to get everyone moving, and that’s particularly important for children. We want to encourage and support children to have the best possible physical fitness and mental well-being”. Reflecting on the importance of keeping our children active, the Taoiseach added “Being active is hugely important for our children’s health and will have a positive impact on them later in life too. And most important of all, it’s great fun”.

Why Staying Active Is So Important

Commenting on the launch of the week, Minister for Health Simon Harris reiterated how important regular physical activity is for health and wellbeing, saying: “We all need to work together to get children active from an early age and support parents and the education sector in building a culture of physical activity”.

He added: “Children and young people need to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. This week has many benefits for their physical and mental health well-being. Children who are active are more likely to live happy and healthy lives and society as a whole will benefit.”

Activities For Young People In Cork

Active School Week is all about encouraging our young people to take part in regular physical activity, the challenge to staff and pupils is to complete at least 60 minutes of physical activity every week. To support that goal, there are a wide range of local community physical amenities and sporting clubs for our young people to take advantage of in our area.

Some of the great facilities and clubs for young people in Cork include:

Sports Clubs

From weightlifting, basketball and handball to mountain orienteering and ladies Gaelic football, there’s a local sports club in our County where you can participate in your favourite sports. There are over 36 Cork sports clubs listed on the Cork Sports Partnership website, offering a wide range of different sports and providing a fun way to stay active and social.

Sports And Physical Opportunities In Schools

The Cork Sport Partnership have partnered up with local schools to run a range of exciting sport and physical opportunities in our local schools over the coming months. From badminton and tennis to cycling and triathlon, you can find out what’s happening in the schools section of their website – – or in the Cork Sports eZine

Sport For All Ability

From wheelchair rugby with the Rebel Wheelers to tennis for all in Midleton Co. Cork, there are a number of SportAbility clubs in Cork that run a timetable of activities to make sure participating in sport is open to all, regardless of physical ability.

For more information on the Cork SportsAbility Forum contact Padraig Healy at Cork Sports Partnership on 021 4347096 or email

Ballyhaas Lakes

For those who love the outdoors, Ballyhass Lakes is the ideal place to have some active fun. The activity centre takes full advantage of the natural environment with instructor led activities to suit all groups including families and schools. With activities include kayaking, raft building, trout fishing, rock climbing, abseiling and archery, there’s something for everyone who loves the great outdoors.

Fitzgerald’s Park

Secluded away right in the heart of the city, Fitzgerald’s Park is the first playground for lots of our children in Cork. The park is the ideal spot for our young people to gather with friends for a game of Frisbee, footie or just to have a good natter over a picnic. Skateboarders have their own area in the park, where they can bring their own board.

Cork’s Beaches

County Cork’s coastline continues for a surprisingly long 1,100km. Nestled between the natural harbours and rugged cliffs are dozens of amazing sandy beaches. From Garretstown beach to Garryvoe Beach at Youghal in East Cork or Garrylucas Beach in the Kinsale area, we’ve got a range of beaches close by, to have a fun day out whilst being active outdoors.

March Marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

As March is marked as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer Day, we wanted to help to raise awareness of the symptoms of the disease.

The earlier ovarian cancer is detected and treated, the better the chances for women to recover. Unfortunately, as the Ovarian Cancer Information Ireland website states, currently there is currently no reliable screening test and most women are diagnosed in the advanced stage 3 of the disease

The absence of a reliable screening test is attributed to the fact that the symptoms of ovarian cancer are often subtle, particularly in the early stages. Ovarian cancer is not detected during routine pelvic exams in most cases unless the doctor notes that the ovary is enlarged.

An early diagnosis is the best way to ensure the disease can be successfully treated. It’s important to be aware that early symptoms of ovarian cancer are noticeable, if you are alert to them and aware of what to look out for.

Risk factors of ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer affects over 300 women in Ireland each year. However, stats show that there is widespread lack of awareness of what the signs and symptoms of the disease are.

Early symptoms of the disease are often not very acute, and diagnosis is typically late, which results in a low rate of only 46% of women diagnosed with the disease living for over five years. Shocking stats like these have lead to ovarian cancer being described as a ‘silent killer’.

Although ovarian cancer can strike any woman, known risk factors include:

  • Age – ovarian cancer can strike at any age but it’s far less common in women under 50. Around 84% of cases of ovarian cancer occur for women over 50. Over 50% of all cases are women over 65
  • Started periods early
  • Started menopause relatively late
  • Women who haven’t carried children
  • Genes – women with the BRCA ½ gene mutation can be at significantly higher risk
  • Family history – if two or more blood relatives have had the disease under 50

Symptoms of ovarian cancer

Cancer prevention officer at Ovarian Cancer Action, Jo Stanford, says that signs are often mistaken for other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ovarian cysts and polycystic ovaries. Often, symptoms are down to something more common like IBS but it’s always important to get yourself checked if you notice any potential symptoms.

Ovarian cancer has four main symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Persistent stomach pain
  • Persistent bloating
  • Difficulty eating – including more quickly feeling full
  • Urinating more frequently

You should make an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

You can help your doctor make a quicker and more accurate diagnosis if you keep a record of symptoms. Ovarian Cancer Action provide a paper symptoms diary to download, to keep track of your symptoms.

Raising awareness of ovarian cancer in Cork

The Emer Casey Foundation, located here in County Cork, is one of the leading ovarian cancer focused charities in Ireland. The Foundation was set up in 2006 following the death of Emer Casey from Youghal, at a young age, due to ovarian cancer.

The Foundation organise events in Cork throughout the year to raise funds to fight the disease and to raise awareness. Upcoming Emer Casey Foundation events include the Melbourne Fun Run on May 27th and the Emer Casey 5K Memorial Run on April 12th.

Ovarian cancer support groups

There are many ovarian cancer support groups and information sites available on the internet. We’ve listed some trusted sites below that will give appropriate information and support.

Cork ARC cancer support house

Irish Cancer Society daffodil centre in Bon Secours Hospital

Macmillan ovarian cancer information

Irish Cancer Society ovarian cancer information

OvaCare the Ovarian cancer community

World Ovarian Cancer Day

Ovarian Cancer Information Ireland

Cervical Cancer Awareness – preventing cervical cancer with smear tests and the HPV vaccine

It’s the Pearl Of Wisdom Campaign 2018 in Ireland from Sunday 28th January to Saturday 3rd February, to promote European Cervical Cancer Awareness Week.

The Irish Cancer Society reports that there are around 300 women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year nationally in Ireland. Cervical cancer is the second most common female cancer in Europe.

As part of this year’s campaign to raise awareness of cervical cancer prevention, Cervical Check, the National Cervical Screening Programme, are encouraging girls and women across the country to take advantage of the free services available to protect them. Women are encouraged to stay up to date with their cervical screening (smear tests) and girls should have the HPV vaccine when it’s offered to them.

You can check when your next free cervical screening is due, by visiting CervicalCheck, or calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.


Causes of cervical cancer

The HPV virus causes most cervical cancers. The virus is very common and is passed during sex. The Irish Cancer Society advises that most women will contract the HPV virus infection at some point during their lifetime and the infection usually clears itself without causing any real harm.

Ongoing HPV virus infections can cause abnormal changes to the lining of the cervix. If left untreated, the changes in the cervix can lead to cervical cancer.


Preventing cervical cancer

Regular cervical screening (smear tests) and the HPV vaccine are the most effective way to reduce the risk of cervical cancer.


Why it’s important for girls to get the HPV vaccine

Cervical cancer is now largely preventable as there is a vaccine which protects against the HPV virus which causes most cervical cancers. The HPV vaccine protects women against many HPV types. The vaccine is licensed for girls and women aged 9 to 26. Girls should take up the HPV vaccine when it is offered to them.


Why regular smear tests are important for women

Regular smear tests can decrease your risk of getting cervical cancer by detecting warning signs early.

Changes to cervical cells are common. However, abnormal changes which are not detected and monitored early can increase your risk of getting cervical cancer. Detecting changes to cervical cells earlier enables them to be monitored and treated more easily. Early detection can help to prevent cervical cancer.

The smear test, also known as a ‘pap’ test, is a test to check for changes in cervical cells, which are found at the neck and womb.

Click here to find out more about how to have your smear test.


Get a free smear test in Cork

Cervical Check, the National Cervical Screening Programme, provides free cervical screening (smear tests) to women aged 25 to 60.

There are over 180 local GP practices here in Cork where you can get your free smear test.

Click to find your nearest GP practice in Cork to have a smear test.

Eligible women should receive an invitation by post, from Cervical Check, if they have never had a free smear test. If you have previously had a test, you should receive a letter advising when your next test is due.

The Pearl of Wisdom Campaign 2018 reminds women to check when their next free cervical screening is due, by visiting, or calling Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

Contact us here at Irwins Pharmacy group, or get in touch with your local GP, to find out more about getting the HPV vaccine for girls and cervical screening for women in Cork.

Tips To Avoid Catching Flu In Cork This Winter 2018

As we move into the New Year 2018, the country is bracing itself for what the Irish Mirror describes as the ‘worst flu season in 50 years’. The Evening Echo also reports that visiting restrictions are in place at Cork University Hospital due to the number of patients arriving with symptoms of flu.  With experts warning that Ireland could be facing the worst flu outbreak since 1964 with the arrival of ‘Ausie flu’, we thought it would be useful to advise on steps you can take to treat and protect yourself from catching the flu this winter.


Treating Flu

Anyone showing flu like symptoms is advised to phone their GP in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at CUH.

The HSE are also warning people to take precautions to prevent the spread of flu over the coming days and weeks.

Health Minister Simon Harris said: “The advice from doctors is that most people who get the flu, unless they are in at risk group, can get better themselves at home.

The HSE advises that anyone who gets flu should:

  • Stay at home
  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol to ease symptoms.


Flu Vaccinations

Director of the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dr Kevin Kelleher, has advised via the that it’s not too late for people to get a vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist. The HSE is also advising that vulnerable groups in particular should get a vaccine.

High-risk groups designated by the HSE who should get a vaccine are:

  • People aged 65 years or over
  • Anyone with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up, such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic neurological disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders and diabetes. This includes children with chronic illness
  • Anyone with lower immunity due to disease or treatment and all cancer patients
  • All pregnant women. The flu vaccine can be given safely at any stage of pregnancy
  • Those with morbid obesity – with Body Mass Index over 40
  • Residents of nursing homes, old people’s homes and other long stay facilities
  • Health care workers and carer’s of people in risk groups

People in ‘at risk’ groups can get the flu vaccine itself free of charge (people without medical or GP visit cards may be charged an administration fee).

Contact us or visit one of our Shandon St pharmacy, Togher pharmacy or Mayfield pharmacy stores for more advice on the best treatments and vaccine advice for you.

Flu Symptoms

The symptoms of most strains of flu are similar, including the ‘Aussie flu’, H3N2, which is prevalent this winter 2018. However, some strains can be more severe and contagious than others. The symptoms of flu can be similar to cold but are usually more severe.

Symptoms can include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Dry chesty cough
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping

Flu tends to come on in a few hours and can lead to more serious conditions including pneumonia.

Contact us at Irwin’s Pharmacy Cork for advice about treatments and vaccines for flu this winter.


Important Vaccinations For Children In Cork

The HSE and local healthcare professionals in Cork have urged parents to ensure that their children have had a measles vaccine, after two confirmed cases of measles in Dublin and suspected cases in Cork at the end of October.

Recently, local Blackpool GP and Fianna Fáil Councillor, Dr John Sheehan, was just one of the local healthcare professionals to remind us how important vaccinations are for our children, to help protect them against potentially fatal diseases.

We thought that it would be helpful to inform parents about why being fully vaccinated with two doses of the MMR (Measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine is so important.

Why Measles Vaccinations Are Vital

You should have recently received an information letter about measles vaccinations from the national school your child attends. The Director of Public Health, Dr Deirdre Mulholland, recently said in the media, “measles can be a serious illness and is highly contagious. The best protection is to be fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR vaccine”.

Measles is spread easily. It usually takes two to three weeks for a rash to develop from the time of exposure. People carrying the disease can become infectious from four days before a rash, until four days after the rash.

Those who have not been fully vaccinated with the MMR vaccine are most at risk. Particularly at risk are babies under one year old, who are too young to be vaccinated, and children with weakened immune symptoms.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • High fever
  • Red rash, starting on the head and spreading to the rest of the body
  • Diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain

If you or your children show any signs of the symptoms of measles, you should stay at home, not go to school or work and phone a GP immediately.

For more information about measles, read the measles factsheets produced by the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

Diseases Vaccinations Prevent

Measles is just one of the diseases that the Primary Immunisation programme in Ireland is designed to prevent. The HSE programmes deliver vaccines for you and your family, which in addition to protecting individuals, also protect others in the community by reducing the spread of disease.

The HSE state on their website that side effects from vaccines are very rare.

The Primary Immunisation programme in Ireland provides a vaccine for the following potentially fatal diseases:

Diphtheria – contagious bacteria spread by close contact with an infected person or carrier. Symptoms and effects are a sore throat and severe breathing difficulties.

Haemophilius Influenzae B (Hib) – contagious bacteria spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain), epiglottis (swelling in the throat that causes choking), septicaemia (blood poisoning) and osteomyelitis (bone infection).

Hepatitis B – contagious virus that is spread by contact with bodily fluids or the blood of an infected person. Causes liver disease. Children have a higher risk of having the disease for life.

Measles – highly contagious virus spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes fever, a cough and a rash.

Meningococcal C (MenC) – contagious bacteria spread by saliva or close contact with an infected person or carrier. Causes meningitis or septicaemia, or both.

Mumps – contagious virus spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes swollen neck glands and fever.

Pertussis (Whopping Cough) – contagious bacteria spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes a severe cough and vomiting. Can last up to three months.

Pneumococcal disease – contagious bacteria spread by close contact with an infected person or carrier. Causes invasive disease such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.

Polio – a contagious virus spread by close contact with an infected person or their faeces (poo). Polio causes fever, headaches and vomiting. It can progress to paralysis.

Rubella (German Measles) – a contagious virus spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes a rash, fever and swollen glands. It can also lead to birth defects if a mother contracts rubella in early pregnancy.

Tetanus – bacteria from soil which release a toxin. Causes painful muscle spasms, convulsions and lockjaw.

Tuberculosis (TB) – contagious bacteria infecting the lungs and spread by close contact with an infected person. Causes sweating, coughing, weight loss and tiredness. TB can infect the brain or other body parts but that type of TB is not contagious.

See the HSE website for more details on the diseases vaccines prevent, as listed above.

What To Do Next

If you are concerned that you or your family haven’t been fully vaccinated, or want to find out more about the vaccinations available, you should contact your GP. If your child has missed a vaccination at school, it’s not too late and the vaccines will still work if your child has them.

We would also be happy to help you with further advice. Pop into your local Irwin’s pharmacy in Cork, or give us a call on the numbers at the top of this page, we’d be happy to provide advice on what to do next.


Find Out More About Vaccinations In Cork And Ireland

HSE – Primary Immunisation schedule

Stop the spread of measles article in The Cork, online newspaper

HPSC measles factsheets

HSE – vaccines for you and your family

Pregnancy Testing & Sexual Health Services In Cork

Your sexual health is important, just as other aspects of your health are. In addition to ensuring that you are clear of infections and disease, sexual health also covers mental well-being and can help you to enjoy fulfilling relationships.

Rising levels of sexually transmitted infections across the country is a major concern for healthcare professionals, social services, the government and the public alike. On top of the initial physical discomfort and the impact on mental health, STI’s can lead to long-term health issues including infertility, ectopic pregnancies and genital cancers. If you are concerned about any aspect of your sexual health, including STI’s, pregnancy testing and support, contraception and relationship issues, there are a range of services in Cork which can help.

In recent years there has been a big drive and lots of investment to improve access to sexual health support services, both nationally and in Cork. Support services are delivered through the healthcare system and local community services. Sexual health clinics are committed to providing confidential and non-judgemental help which is provided by fully trained staff. Sexual health services in Cork include:


STI Testing

STI screening services provide a completely confidential service, where you won’t be judged.


Who should have an STI screening?

It’s advised that everyone who is sexually active and has not had a check-up before should take STI screening. It’s particularly important that people who have any symptoms or concerns should be tested as soon as possible. You should also plan to have a check-up every 12 months.

There are several STI screening services available in Cork, including:


Pregnancy Testing & Support

Unplanned pregnancies are a reality that can be experienced by any woman. The Sexual Health Centre in Cork provide services and support delivered by fully trained staff. Their staff are fully trained and understand this may be a worrying time for you and they are committed to doing everything they can to put you at ease in a calm and friendly environment.


Pregnancy Testing In Cork

If your period is late or you think you may be pregnant, the Sexual Health Centre are there to help by offering a free and confidential pregnancy testing service. You can drop in to the centre, on Peters Street in Cork anytime between 9-5 Monday through to Friday without an appointment.


Pregnancy Counselling

An unplanned pregnancy can leave you feeling distressed and isolated. The Unplanned Pregnancy Counsellors at the Sexual Health Centre provide a non-judgemental, professional and non-directive service to women experiencing an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. Their trained staff respectfully assist women to explore all their options.

Call The Sexual Health Centre on 021 427 6676, or email them at to find out more about their pregnancy services.


Support For Young People At The Youth Health Service In Cork

Cork’s Youth Health Service is the only one of its kind in Ireland. Known as the YHS, it’s an STI/GUM clinic and a sexual health centre providing quality free sexual health services, located in Penrose House, on Penrose Quay, in Cork City.

Following two research projects, conducted in Cork in 2003/2004, young people asked for a local health service that was confidential, free, with welcoming, non-judgemental staff, easily accessible, relaxed and free from peer and parental disapproval. The YHS was setup to fulfil these needs.

Sexual health supports and services available for young people at YHS include general advice and support in relation to sexual health, STI screening, a contraceptive clinic, youth work and drug and alcohol support and counselling.

Email the team at YHS on or call 076 1084150 to find out more about their supports and services.

Health Screening Services In Cork – Helping To Keep Cork A ‘Healthy City’

As the Cork Independent recently reported that Cork is leading the way as a World Health Organisation designated Healthy City, we thought that it is the perfect time to take a look at the free medical and health screening services available in Cork. As the Independent reports, since being designated a WHO Healthy City in 2012, the council has been focusing a range of initiatives to promote health and well-being in our city, including:

A central aim of both national and local government is to encourage people to take regular health screening tests, to identify health issues early. Many health issues are preventable or treated more easily and successfully with early diagnosis and monitoring. There are a range of free health screening services in Cork, which we’ve rounded up here.


Free Cancer Screening Services In Cork

Cervical Check

CervicalCheck is a national initiative that provides free smear tests for women aged 25 to 60. Cervical screening is a test to check for changes in cervical cells. These cells are found at the neck and womb. Changes in cervical cells are common and screening helps to identify cell changes early, so they can be monitored and treated. The earlier changes are detected, the easier it is to treat.

Detecting cell changes in the cervix early can help to prevent cervical cancer.

Click here to find your nearest GP practice or clinic in Cork to have a Cervical Check test.


Breast Check

BreastCheck provides free mammograms to eligible women around the country, and at various locations here in Cork. The service provides a free breast check every two years. Click here for Breast Check screening locations in Cork


Bowel Screening

The BowelScreen programme offers free bowel testing to men and women aged 60 to 69. Bowel screening is used to detect cancer in people who are not showing any symptoms.

Bowel screening helps to detect bowel cancer earlier, when there is a much better chance of successful treatment. Bowel screening also helps to identify other changes in the bowel such as polyps, which are small growths that are not usually cancerous. If polyps are not removed they can turn cancerous over time, however polyps can usually be removed easily if they are found.


Mole Checks & Mole Mapping Clinic

Mole mapping clinics held periodically at Cork University Hospital offer a complete skin check and mole mapping examination to identify cancerous moles. The mole screening for melanoma skin cancer and computerised mole mapping can help identify melanoma early, thus improving survival rates.

Free clinics have been offered periodically as part of wider health initiatives. Book a consultation at Irwin’s pharmacy Cork, if you’d like to discuss your skin or find out more about services available at this time.


Mobile Blood Pressure Tests

Get your blood pressure checked for free at various locations near you in County Cork and Cork City. Research shows that 40% of strokes could be prevented through better control of blood pressure. Take the first step and get your blood pressure checked for free at an Irish Heart mobile unit near you. Click here for upcoming mobile blood pressure checks near you in Cork.


To find out more about health screening and services here in Cork, or to talk to us about any aspect of your health, book a consultation with us here at Irwin’s Pharmacy.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support In Cork

As the Evening Echo features a young woman from Ballincollig, Sarah McCoy, who has made a documentary to show the positive side of Alzheimer’s, we thought it a good time to take a look at Alzheimer’s and Dementia support in Cork.

What Is Dementia?

The Alzheimer’s Association describes dementia as a ‘general term for a decline in metal ability severe enough to interfere with daily life’.

Rather than being a specific disease, dementia is an overall term to describe a wide range of symptoms which are associated with a decline in memory and other thinking skills. The two most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s, which accounts for up-to 80% of cases, and vascular dementia occurring after a stroke. However, there are many other conditions that can cause dementia symptoms, some of which are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Symptoms Of Dementia

Symptoms of dementia can vary greatly but in general early signs and symptoms of dementia can include:

  • Memory loss
  • Communication and language
  • Inability to pay attention and focus
  • Reasoning and judgement
  • Visual perception

If you’re concerned that a loved may be showing any of the symptoms above, it’s really important to make an appointment for them to see your GP as soon as possible. The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland have also produced a factsheet on the early symptoms and diagnosis of dementia.

There are a range of organisations ready to provide support, both here in Cork and nationally, if your loved one has just been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer National Helpline on 1800 341 341 is a helpful first port of call, as they can talk to you in confidence about the process of diagnosing and living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Alzheimer’s And Dementia Support In Cork

Staying active and social is recognised as one of the most effective ways to treat dementia and improve the quality of life of sufferers. The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland (ASI) run a 7 day care centres across County Cork in Bessboro, Midleton, Mallow, Conna, Bandon, Mitchelstown and Skibbereen. Click here for details of the ASI day care centres in county Cork.

The ASI day care centres offer respite for carers and company for users and are social clubs which are designed for people to meet each other and offer peer support.

St Finbarr’s Hospital Alzheimer Cafe in Cork is also a social club that provides a safe and relaxed place where people with dementia, their families and health and social care professionals can meet to talk, share and learn.

The ASI run 3 support groups for families affected by dementia in Cork. ASI family support groups provide the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation to share stories, access information and practical advice in a relaxed, understanding and supportive environment. Find out more about the ASI Family Support Groups in Cork.

The ASI are also one of the first ports of call to get personal advice on what specialist support is available for you in the area. The Alzheimer Society of Ireland case management services support people affected by dementia, who would benefit from having someone work with them to access services and support in Cork. In Cork, the service is open to people from both Cork City and county. For further information, contact the Cork case management service on 021 497 2504.

Bluebird in-home dementia care are a nationwide care organisation that provide ‘in their own home’ care services for Alzheimer and dementia sufferers in county Cork. The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland also provide home care delivered from care centres in Bessboro, Mallow and Skibereen.

What’s On In Cork That’s Good For Mental Health And Wellbeing

As the Minister for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly launched Connecting for Life Cork on Wednesday 26th July 2017, we thought it would be useful to look at what’s happening in Cork this summer that can be good for mental health and wellbeing.

The launch of Connecting For Life Cork took place at Millennium Hall, Cork City Hall. The event was attended by a large number of those involved in the drafting of the plan, including Cork community and voluntary groups and members of the public from across the local area. A total of 356 people took part in public meetings, with 700 comments and suggestions recorded. Online surveys were conducted and separate youth consultations also took place at City Hall. The results of this extensive feedback were formed into a 72 point action plan for Cork, work has already started on some of these actions.

The vision of the four year plan, which runs from 2017 to 2020, is a County Cork where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

If you are worried about your mental health, or the wellbeing of someone else, it’s important to talk to someone or look for support. Exploring the small things you can do, that are good for mental health and wellbeing, can really help:

Healthy Eating

Good food is fundamental to make sure your mind and body are working properly. More and more studies are showing that what you eat can make a big difference to your mental health. Familiarising yourself with the Irish Food Pyramid can help when it comes to planning healthy meals. Of course, good food also tastes great and can be great fun to boot. If you feel like you need some help to learn how to cook healthier meals at home, there are a number of cooking classes for adults in Cork.

We’re lucky in Cork to enjoy a rich culinary culture and an active calendar of food events. This summer checkout Bia Sasta food events in Cork and the upcoming A Taste Of West Cork Food Festival which runs from the 8th to the 17th of September this year. If you’re looking to eat out, we enjoy a wealth of healthy eating restaurants in Cork.

To learn more or get involved in community initiatives to promote and prioritise a healthy food system in the area, see the Cork Food Policy Council website.

Stay Social

Social contact and being actively involved in the local community can make all the difference to your mental health. Although it can take courage to get out and meet people if you’re suffering mental health issues, it can make a very real difference to how you feel. If the cost is a big concern, there are many free events available in Cork.

Promoting events and activities in Cork is a key action plan point in the Connecting For Life plan. From Heritage Week from the 19th to 27th of August, to Cork City Libraries events to Summer In The Park events run by the City Council, there are loads of great family and adult activity events in Cork this summer. Many events running in Cork are free of charge too.

Take Time Out

Taking time out to relax allows you to give yourself permission to let go of worries for a while. We all need to relax, to give our mind and body time to recover from the stresses of life. The Wellness Workshop is an online app that shares practical tools to help maintain wellness when we’re feeling good and improve wellness during difficult times.

There are always lots of events and activities taking place in the area which provide the opportunity to take time out and enjoy a relaxing activity.

The UCC Walking Tour is an hour long historical and cultural tour taking in historical sites and the story of George Bool, the UCC’s first professor of maths and inventor of Boolean logic. Cork Nature Network promote nature conservation by offering public events, many of which are free. The Cork Heritage Open Day sees Cork’s most fascinating buildings open their doors, free of charge, for this special event.

Talk To Someone

There are a range of organisations nationally, and in Cork, providing support via the phone, internet or text message.

Have you been affected by suicide, self-harm, or just need to talk?

Support is available for you now in Cork:

Anyone in crisis can get support through their GP.

Round-the-clock psychiatric care is available at the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital, where care is provided out-of-hours by on-call psychiatrists.

  • Contact your local GP.
  • Go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital
  • Contact emergency services by calling 999 or 112
  • Call the Samaritans, the FREE 24-hour listening service, Call 116 123
  • Call Pieta House, a FREE 24-hour crisis line at 1800 247 247
  • Call Childline, 24-hour service at 1800 66 66 66

For further information and a list of other supports, you can access:

Local Support Branches In Cork

Cork Samaritans

Phone: 116 123



Web chat

Phone: 1800 66 66 66

Text Talk to 50101

Pieta House Cork

Highfield Lawn, Model Farm Road


Phone: 021-4341400

Contact Person: Sophie O’Callaghan

Healthy And Happy Summer Holiday Tips For Our Young People In Cork

As the long summer holidays begin, we thought it would be helpful to come up with some ideas and tips to help ensure that your kids and adolescents enjoy a happy and healthy summer holiday in 2017.


Keeping Our Young People Happy And Healthy In Cork This Summer

May 2017 has been a busy month in Cork for initiatives to raise awareness of mental health issues in our teens and young people.

Munster rugby star Simon Zebo is swapping drop goals for dropping beats by giving his backing to a rap track by Cork teenagers to raise awareness of mental health issues amongst teens. The music track is an initiative by the Mayfield Local Drugs and Alcohol Task Force Project and is motivated by the group’s concerns about the rates of teenage bullying, anxiety, depression and suicide. You can read more about the Reach Out Speak Out music track by Cork teenagers on the Irish Examiner website.

May also saw the Scartleigh National School in Saleen hold a very successful wellbeing week which included a series of activities for pupils, both physical and psychological. The activities involved building healthy habits and skills amongst our young people to help themselves stay healthy and happy. Activities included mindfulness exercises, reading whilst out in the sun on Monday morning, participation in basketball, yoga and dance classes, swimming for PE, reduced written homework and SPHE activities.


Top Tips For Healthy School Holidays This Summer In Cork

Summer Holiday Healthy Eating

If you’re looking after children or young people this summer holidays you’ve probably given a thought to how you’re going to fill the time, but it’s also important to spare a thought for what you’re going to eat. Summer holidays invariably brings routine changes, and healthy eating and regular activities can easily fall by the wayside.

It’s important to try to think ahead about what you’re going to eat during the holidays as many studies have shown that a healthy diet in childhood is critically important. Studies have shown that a healthy diet in our youth is a foundation for good physical and mental health in adulthood. There’s an excellent article on the British Heart Foundation website with 8 tips for healthy school holiday eating.


Family Fun Activities In Cork This Summer

Keeping busy and active is vital for young people at any time of year and is especially important during the long summer holidays. Fortunately, there’s loads going on for young people and families this summer in Cork. Click here for a list of some of the best summer camps in Cork for younger kids and teens in Cork in summer 2017. For family activities to enjoy with your kids this summer see this guide to family fun things to do in Cork this summer.


Activity Tips To Get Active With Your Kids

Physical activity helps kids and adolescents grow strong bones, maintain a healthy weight and discover the world around them. Best of all, staying active is fun and proven to help you stay happy and healthy at any age. Some suggestions to make exercise fun for all the family this summer in Cork include:

  • Walking and cycling. There are lots of cycling routes and cycling events in Cork to enjoy this summer.
  • Build a den with your kids. Under supervision, you could even encourage your kids to climb a tree or two.
  • Rollerskating. rollerblading or skateboarding, indoors or outside. Kids also love to get on their scooters.
  • Do an activity or challenge for a charity. Find out about charity events in Cork.
  • Take the dog for a walk together. If you don’t have your own dog to walk, you can always borrow a friend’s dog or a neighbours.
  • Find time every weekend do something active with your kids. Why not play Frisbee or football in the park, go trampolining or try indoor rock climbing.
  • Enjoy a day at the beach. Why not head down to Garrylucas or Garryvoe for the day.
  • The National Parks in Ireland website has lists of events including children’s fun days or guided walks which are great ideas for active days out for this summer