HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast

Listen to the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast with interviews and insights on the work underway by HSE Health and Wellbeing and their partners to deliver on the Healthy Ireland ambition of supporting, protecting and empowering individuals, families and their communities to achieve their full health potential. You can follow on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Please get in touch to find out more about our podcast series or the work of HSE Health and Wellbeing at healthandwellbeing.communications@hse.ie.

Sláintecare Healthy Communities

Welcome to the first episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast. In this podcast, we focus on the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme to give some insights about how implementation of this new health inequality programme is progressing with Ger Fahy HSE Limerick Sláintecare Healthy Community Coordinator and Mairead Carney, Sláintecare Healthy Community Local Development Officer with Mayo County Council.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Health and Wellbeing in the GAA

In this episode we hear from Colin Regan, the GAA’s Community and Health Manager who tells us all about the Healthy Club programme in the GAA, how it has developed in recent years and the ambition to have GAA clubs support their communities by being hubs for health and wellbeing.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Tobacco Free Ireland

In this podcast episode listen to Sarah Halpin talk us through her journey from smoker to ‘We Can Quit’ Community Facilitator, where she is now helping others to stop smoking through the free HSE Quit supports. We also hear from Dr. Paul Kavanagh, HSE’s Public Health Clinical Advisor on Tobacco who shares his thoughts about the current smoking and vaping situation in Ireland today and the plans for a Tobacco Free Ireland. Hosted by Noreen Turley.

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Men’s Health

In this episode, hosted by Fergal Fox, we hear from Dr. Noel Richardson on the subject of men’s health and about how masculinity can put limitations on men’s health and men’s help seeking behaviours. Noel is the Director of the National Men’s Health Research Centre in South East Technological University and has been working in the area of men’s health for over twenty years. Noel discusses on a variety for men’s health initiatives that have been developed in recent years and the various partners who have supported and driven the work.

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Living Well Programme

In this episode, hosted by Eamon Keogh, we talk about the Living Well Programme, a free group self-management programme to help people manage their long-term health condition. Tommy, shares his experience of participating in the programme, his personal challenges and how the programme offered practical help and support. Liz Cox, a Living Well Leader, talks to us about the structure of the programme and what people considering joining can expect. Mary Gowing, a Self Management Support Coordinator for Long-term Health Conditions discusses the history of the Living Well programme, its origins and explains more about what a long term health condition is. 

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Alcohol Action Ireland

In this episode listen to Dr. Sheila Gilheaney, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland as she describes the work underway to reduce the harm from alcohol in Ireland. Hosted by Noreen Turley, Sheila shares excellent insights into the policy areas needing attention as she works in collaboration with the HSE to promote a healthier response to alcohol. 

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Staff Choirs

Listen to the latest episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast to hear a heart-warming conversation with Alison Baker Kerrigan and host Fergal Fox, who both share their experience and insights from singing in workplace choirs in the health service. Alison, who works as Arts Officer in Tallaght University Hospital and takes part in their Heartbeats Choir, shares her experience of working with her colleagues in Tallaght to write a new song, which was shared as part of one of the HSE Staff Choir Concerts. Alison also took part in David Brophy’s Frontline Choir during COVID and describes what it was like to connect with a new group of HSE colleagues to practice and perform for the television series.

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Social Prescribing

Listen to this episode as we learn about Social Prescribing and how this initiative can improve the wellbeing of a wide range of individuals, including those who are socially isolated, lonely, and experiencing long-term conditions and mental health difficulties. This week, we speak to Caragh Munn, Social Prescribing co-ordinator with Bray Area Partnership, who explains how Social Prescribing focuses on ‘What Matters to the Person’ rather than ‘What is the Matter with the Person.’ She describes how the aim of Social Prescribing is to connect adults to community groups, organisations and statutory services for practical and emotional support with the help of a Social Prescribing Link Worker.

We learn how referrals to the Social Prescribing Link Worker come from various sources, including GPs, nurses, community mental health teams, health and social care professionals, older people services, the community and voluntary sector, as well as self-referrals. Details on how to make a referral or how to self-refer to a service, and where to find your nearest Social Prescribing Service can be found at: https://allirelandsocialprescribing.ie/members-map/.

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Making the ‘Big Talk’ many small talks

Listen to the latest episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, featuring Moira Germaine, Education and Training Manager with the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme. Moira tells us about the Making the ‘Big Talk’ many small talks resources, which support conversations between parents and their children about relationships and sexuality. Find out all about the research and rationale behind the new resources, now available on sexualwellbeing.ie, as Moira shares her insights from working with a wide range of stakeholders on sexual health to empower parents and carers to support healthy relationships for their children.

Listen on Podbean on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Mental Health

Listen to the latest episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, hosted by Noreen Turley with Mark Smyth, HSE Senior Clinical Psychologist, who discuss some of the signs of mental health problems and the new HSE Mental Health Literacy Campaign. The episode focuses on stress, anxiety, low mood and sleep as common signs of mental health problems and what we can do to help ourselves and others. HSE resources and support information are available on yourmentalhealth.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Health Promotion and Improvement

In this episode listen to Karen Heavey and Joan Ita Murphy, two Health Promotion and Improvement Managers in the HSE, as they describe the work of their departments in HSE Health and Wellbeing. Their staff work with a wide variety of partners internally and externally as they target issues from smoking cessation, promoting mental wellbeing and delivery of staff health and wellbeing. Karen and Joan Ita also talk about the social determinants of health, their work on Sláintecare Healthy Communities and how they see their increased staffing numbers working to address the health needs of their areas in the coming years.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

In this episode we talk about Making Every Contact Count (MECC), a national behaviour change programme, which prepares healthcare professionals to use the different contacts they have with their patients as an opportunity to talk with them about making healthier lifestyle changes, in order to prevent chronic disease. Mo Foley, Making Every Contact Count Mobiliser and Louise Crowley, Physiotherapy Manager in HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare tell host Eamon Keogh all about their experience implementing Making Every Contact Count. They share their insights from supporting the implementation of MECC, discussing the training programme, why staff should take it on, and why MECC is of benefit to the public. For more information visit: www.makingeverycontactcount.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

SpunOut.ie

In this episode we talk to Ian Power CEO of SpunOut.ie, the youth information website. The discussion covers a broad range of issues that young people are seeking information on through the website. Ian describes how the organisation has developed and learned by working with young people to give insights and offer support with trusted information where and when young people need it. SpunOut also launched the Free Text 50808 service in 2020 and Ian shares some insights into the way that service was set up and how it supports young people through challenging times. SpunOut have been a partner of the HSE in the context of youth mental health and youth health information for many years.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Traveller Wellbeing through Creativity

In this episode we hear from Martin Beanz Warde who tells us about his ‘Through Our Eyes’ photography project which was funded under the Traveller Through Creativity initiative in 2022. Martin is a Comedian, Writer and Photographer who also shares his own personal story about expressing his creative ability in a variety of ways and how he has supported others through his growing media presence.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Men’s Health Week - Why it Matters

In episode 15 of the HSE Talking Health & Wellbeing Podcast, we talk about Men’s Health Week with Anne Farrell,  CIE Occupational Health Unit and Finian Murray in HSE Health and Wellbeing. Finian explains the background to Men’s Health Week and the range of activities happening during Men’s Health Week 2023 and the many partners involved. Anne talks to us about the range of health & wellbeing supports in CIE for their pre-dominantly male staff. Hosted by Eamon Keogh. To find out more about #MensHealthWeek check out www.mhfi.org.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Choose Screening

In this episode, host Fergal Fox talks to Fiona Murphy, Chief Executive of the HSE National Screening Service (NSS) and Grace Rattigan, one of their Patient and Public Partnership representatives about the importance of the four national screening programmes to help prevent or recognise disease early when it is easier to treat. Screening saves lives and the NSS recently launched their new strategy ‘Choose Screening’, putting engagement with people to the forefront of how they do their work. Fiona talks about the significance of this person-centred approach, the journey of the development of the strategy and how the NSS aims to ensure that screening is an informed-choice for people. Grace shares her experience of becoming an ambassador for screening promotion, and speaks about how worthwhile and empowering it has been as a member of the NSS Patient and Public Partnership to help shape the development of the service. For more on the HSE National Screening Service go to: www.screeningservice.ie

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Healthy Workplaces

In this episode we talk Healthy Workplaces with Biddy O’Neill from Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health. The discussion covers the background to the Healthy Workplace Framework – Healthy Ireland at Work, and why and how the recently launched Healthy Workplace Website will guide workplaces on the best things they can do to develop and improve the wellbeing of their staff. Biddy shares her insights into the potential of Healthy Workplaces, what the evidence tells us and what they hope to achieve with the new website as a one stop shop for workplaces, with lots of resources to signpost and support. Hosted by Fergal Fox. Check out the new Healthy Ireland at Work website at: www.healthyworkplace.ie

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

HSE Safer Nightlife Programme

In this episode we talk to Nicki Killeen, Project Manager working on HSE Emerging Drugs Trends, we hear all about the HSE Safer Nightlife Programme which was set up to reduce the harm of drugs used in “nightlife” settings and at music festivals in particular. Nicki shares her insights on the pilot work done at the Electric Picnic Music Festival last year and the work underway at this year’s summer music festivals to support people around their risk taking behaviours and to gather samples of drugs for checking. This ‘back of house’ approach allows for drugs to be gathered and analysed through “surrender bins” and supports the team to identify substances of concern, provide real time information in relation to drugs circulating and engage with festival goers to reduce drug-related harms. Nicki explains how the teams of drugs.ie volunteers work at the festivals to build up trust and engage with those attending to complete brief interventions. For more information go to www.drugs.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

HSE Active Workplaces

In this episode we talk to Eimear Cotter, Project Manager, Healthy Eating Active Living Programme, HSE Health & Wellbeing and Dan Russell, Health Promotion & Improvement Officer, HSE, Dublin South, Kildare & West Wicklow Community Healthcare, about active workplaces and the importance of physical activity. Eimear discusses the physical activity guidelines, the risks associated with sedentary behaviour in the workplace and why movement breaks are so important to incorporate as part of our daily routine. Dan shares his experiences about the HSE Steps to Health challenge, which is an internal initiative aimed at encouraging and supporting staff to be more active. 

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Parents Matter

In this episode, we speak to Professor Bobby Smyth, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, on the role of parents in the area of substance prevention and education, as part of an ongoing campaign ‘Parents Matter’ to promote information about substances and how to engage children and young people on this matter. Families have the potential to act as a major protective force in the lives of children and adolescents. Mutually supportive family relationships generally influence the prevention of substance use among young people.

In the podcast we hear about the current drug and alcohol landscape, including the latest drug trends and how parents can help in supporting healthy decision making by their children. Professor Smyth also discusses the reasons why we seek to delay or avoid young people’s entry into the world of alcohol and drug use and the steps which parents can take to reduce the likelihood that their son or daughter develops a substance use problem.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

To find out more information and the support options for concerned parents in their local area, visit: Resources for parents (drugs.ie)

Positive Mental Health

In this episode we talk to HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Officers, Olive Fanning and Anne Marie Murphy, about Positive Mental Health and the HSE’s Minding Your Wellbeing programme which is available through a series of 5 videos along with other mental health supports on www.yourmentalhealth.ie. Hosted by Fergal Fox, they discuss the programme and many of the terms and concepts used in the field of Positive Psychology such as Self-Care, Resilience, Positive Relationships, Mindfulness and how we need to Manage Our Thoughts. Both Anne Marie and Olive have significant experience of delivering this evidenced based programme face to face to HSE staff and they offer their insights, giving listeners lots to reflect on in terms of how they mind their own mental wellbeing.

The Minding Your Wellbeing Programme Support Booklet is also highlighted in the podcast as a useful practical tool for people who are working to improve their mental wellbeing and is available via www.healthpromotion.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Alcohol & Pregnancy

In this podcast two experts discuss Alcohol and Pregnancy. Dr Mary O’Mahony, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Professor Maeve Eogan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist talk to podcast host Noreen Turley about a range of issues involved including Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD Awareness Day is the 9th of September 2023.

They discuss the difficulties that some women face giving up alcohol while pregnant and the importance of providing consistent messaging to women. The clear message is that no amount of alcohol at any stage of pregnancy is safe for your baby and if you have had a drink, stopping as soon as the pregnancy is confirmed is the best thing for your developing baby.

Maeve says that “We want to support women who find having an alcohol free pregnancy difficult without the ‘blame and shame culture’ that can prevent women asking for help. Health care professionals need to have clear communication and have those challenging conservations with women so that we can provide support to women.”

Mary explains that “The reality is that anytime alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, it passes from your blood stream through the placenta to your baby. Even a small amount of alcohol can harm a baby’s development and may have lifelong effects. But stopping drinking alcohol at any stage of pregnancy is of benefit to the baby.”

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD experience lifelong challenges and need support with their physical health. They may struggle with learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills. FASD Awareness Day is the 9th of September 2023.

For further information and tips for not drinking during pregnancy contact the Drug and Alcohol Helpline on 1800 459 459 or visit Alcohol during pregnancy page and mychild.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Healthy Lunchboxes for Kids

The latest HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast talks about Healthy Lunchboxes for Kids and much more.

With school routines starting again and parents getting to grips with what to put into those lunchboxes and what to avoid. Marian McBride, Dietetic Lead, HSE Health & Wellbeing discusses the importance of a balanced diet to ensure children develop a healthy relationship with food.

With tips on how to introduce healthier foods into children’s daily diets. Marian gives ideas on what to include, recognising that parents are busy, she explains that it’s about frequency and taking those different opportunities to introduce healthier options.

For more information and ideas visit Healthy eating page.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Healthy Campus

Listen to the latest episode which delves into the area of the Healthy Campus work underway in third-level institutions across the country. Under the Higher Education Healthy Campus Charter and Framework led by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), this sector continues to increase its delivery of health and wellbeing work in conjunction with the Department of Health, Healthy Ireland. Our guests are Martina Mullin from Trinity College Dublin and Dr. Teresa Hurley from Technological University Dublin, who share their insights and learning from their on the ground work with host Fergal Fox. As a setting, higher education has huge potential, to not only improve health and wellbeing but also improve academic performance, students' sense of belonging, improve staff-student relationships, reduce stress and link to any number of priority issues for young adults and staff. Many of these benefits are discussed and given real world examples in the podcast.

A Healthy Campus ‘adopts a holistic understanding of health, takes a whole campus approach and aspires to create a learning environment and organisational culture that enhances the health and wellbeing of its community and enables people to achieve their full potential’. It’s about moving away from a focus only on individuals to ensure we are creating campuses that are conducive and supportive to health and wellbeing, a whole campus approach. This includes how health can be supported through teaching and learning, leadership, governance and strategy, student services, the physical environment, and campus culture. It aims to foster an ethos of care, compassion, and inclusion on campuses. The Healthy Campus Process, contained in the Framework, outlines an inclusive, coordinated approach to improving health and wellbeing. To find out more about the work underway in this area see the HEA’s Healthy Campus webpage.

The HEA oversees the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system, with responsibility for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system. As well as responsibility for the Healthy Campus Framework, the HEA also oversees the implementation of the National Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Framework (PDF, 3.43MB, 92 pages).

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

In Ireland, 1 in 2 people will develop cancer at some stage of their life. Cancer prevention and early diagnosis are key to reducing the burden of cancer in Ireland.

Listen to Consultant in public health Dr Triona McCarthy at the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) discuss steps you can take to reduce your risk of cancer and the healthy lifestyle choices you can make to help.

Triona also explains that not all cancers can be prevented; each individual’s risk of getting cancer is influenced by a wide range of factors. But she adds that there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of many cancers. Making healthy lifestyle choices not only reduces the risk of cancer, but also helps improve general health.

Dr McCarthy works with the HSE’s National Cancer Control Programme, which established and coordinates the Irish Cancer Prevention Network (ICPN). ICPN member organisations work together to support and collaborate on cancer risk reduction initiatives. Together, they provide a trusted source of information for the public by converting the knowledge gained through research, surveillance and outcome evaluation into strategies and actions for the prevention of cancer in Ireland.

There are now more than 200,000 people living with and beyond cancer in Ireland. The number of survivors is predicted to double over the next 25 years, mainly due to improvements in early detection, effective cancer treatment and new developments in treatment.

For further information, please visit: hse.ie/cancerprevention.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Breastfeeding Support

In this podcast, we hear from breastfeeding experts as they explain why breast feeding is important for mother and baby and outline the range of supports in every community throughout the country. This year’s theme for Breastfeeding week is ‘Making our communities and workplaces more breastfeeding friendly’. It aims to highlight local supports for parents and the recent expansion in law of breastfeeding breaks during work hours up to a child’s second birthday. Parents can get tips and advice on continuing to breastfeeding when returning to work and can also talk to a breastfeeding expert on www.mychild.ie.

Our podcast host Noreen Turley speaks to Helen Long, a breastfeeding mother with a complex story, who sought help and information as she began her breastfeeding journey, she said she “feels empowered and has realised that for her breastfeeding is her parenting superpower.” Helen would like to see breastfeeding normalised in Irish society and hopes by telling her story she will encourage more mothers to breastfeed their babies.

Alison Reynolds, Public Health Nurse and Lactation Consultant, acknowledges that breastfeeding can be difficult and explains to mothers how and where they can get practical advice and support to help them breastfeed. She tells us that your GP, GP practice nurse, midwife or public health nurse (PHN) will be happy to discuss feeding your baby and many people find it helpful to learn about breastfeeding while pregnant. Alison says that “Breastfeeding looks different to every mother and by working together with a Lactation Consultant, mothers can get the support that will work for them and enable them to breastfeed their baby for as long as they wish.”

Laura McHugh, HSE National Breastfeeding Coordinator, said that “We know from our data that more mothers are breastfeeding every year and that we are listening to our mothers’ needs, responding to them and are putting supports in place in every community in the country to help mothers breastfeed.” Laura also tells us that we now have over 180 breastfeeding groups, breastfeeding live chat and many more tips and support for parents available on the HSE’s www.mychild.ie website.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Financial Wellbeing

Listen to week's podcast as we hear from North Dublin Regional Manager of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), Gwen Harris. In this podcast, hosted by Fergal Fox, we learn that financial wellbeing is about having control and confidence in managing a budget rather than accumulating wealth. Gwen provides practical tips for budgeting, including how to reduce food waste and how to save money in areas like utility bills.

She also sheds light on the emotional toll and societal aspects of financial stress, emphasising that it's often external factors like job loss or illness, not personal overspending, that lead to financial strain. Gwen highlights the reluctance people may have when seeking financial assistance, and stresses the importance of creating a judgment-free environment where people from all walks of life, regardless of their background or employment status, can seek support and advice. Gwen encourages listeners to seek support from organisations like MABS and suggests visiting their website mabs.ie or calling their helpline on 0818 072 000, which open from 9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday. She also highlights that MABS provides financial health tools, tips and regular blog posts on various topics related to personal finance

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Dementia: Understand Together

Listen to week's podcast as we hear about the HSE Dementia: Understand Together campaign, which aims to raise awareness and understanding of dementia and inspire communities to become inclusive.

Our guests are Fiona Foley, Senior Project Manager HSE National Dementia Office, and Kathleen Farrell, who is living with Lewy body dementia and is a member of the Irish Dementia Working Group. In this podcast, hosted by Noreen Turley, we hear about the various types of dementia, early signs and symptoms and where to go for help if you have dementia or are a family member supporting a person with the condition. We hear from Kathleen, who is very open about living with dementia and shares her personal experiences as she outlines some of the supports available to her. Kathleen also highlights the importance of education among all community groups and organisations to create inclusive communities all over Ireland. Fiona tells us that the "Understand Together" campaign recently launched a new dementia inclusive community symbol which organisations and groups can display to show their solidarity with people living with dementia, and also highlights how the new symbol is changing the dementia culture in Ireland, increasing visibility and awareness of dementia.

For more information you can contact understandtogether@hse.ie, visit understandtogether.ie or call the national helpline facilitated by the Alzheimer Society of Ireland on 1800 341 341.

Dementia: Understand Together is led by the HSE, in partnership with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI), Age Friendly Ireland, the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre, Age & Opportunity and Healthy Ireland.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Obesity: Changing Attitudes

In this podcast, we hear from Dr Jean O’Connell, a consultant endocrinologist and clinical lead at the Centre for Obesity Management at St. Columcille's and St. Vincent's University Hospitals. Jean explains that obesity is a chronic disease caused by a malfunction in the body's energy balance and weight regulation. She goes on to explain that approximately 1 in 4 adults in Ireland are living with obesity, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may have increased these numbers. Despite this, Jean also talks about the bias and stigma associated with this long term illness.

Susie Birney, the lead for the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO) shares her personal experience of living with obesity, highlighting the difference between overweight and obesity. She also shares her personal experience of encountering weight bias within the healthcare system. Her experience reflects the damaging impact of internalized weight bias and how the language others use can reinforce this. Hosted by Eamon Keogh, we also discuss the importance of challenging stigma and misconceptions surrounding obesity. This includes the need for neutral and positive imagery in the media and the importance of healthcare professionals avoiding assumptions and biases when discussing obesity with patients.

For more information visit ICPO website.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Men’s Sheds

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, host Fergal Fox talks to Rebecca McLaughlin from the Irish Men's Sheds Association and Raymond Jordan from the Firhouse Men's Shed in Dublin. They discuss the positive impact of Men's Sheds on the community, the diversity of activities offered, and the importance of connection and camaraderie. Rebecca and Ray highlight the "Sheds for Life" programme, a health and wellbeing initiative that provides support directly to men in Sheds.  Ray shares his personal experience of the programme in Firhouse and his retirement planning, and the fulfilment he found in joining a Men's Shed. The episode also touches on the social and mental wellbeing many men gain through their participation with Men’s Sheds, and the many community engagement initiatives supported by the large network of sheds across the country.

For more information visit the Men’s Sheds website or check out the Sheds for Life Impact Report.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Mental Health Ireland

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing podcast, host Fergal Fox talks to Martin Rogan, the CEO of Mental Health Ireland. They discuss the organisation's work in promoting mental health and wellbeing, the importance of collaboration and understanding in mental health promotion, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Martin emphasises the need for a holistic approach to mental health and highlights the fundamental role of parenting. He tells us about the coproduction model utilised by Mental Health Ireland and the priority of engaging with people with lived experience of mental health, to inform all their developments.

He also shares his insights into successful mental health promotion research and models implemented in other countries. Martin is also working with the Department of Health on their Mental Health Promotion Plan and shares his insights into that work. It all makes for an uplifting and engaging conversation about mental wellbeing.

For more information visit the Mental Health Ireland website.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Fertility Wellbeing

In the latest episode of HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, we talk to Professor Mary Wingfield, Consultant Obstetrical Gynaecologist at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin.

Hosted by Noreen Turley, they discuss fertility wellbeing, the common fertility problems in both men and women, the importance of early fertility education, and the psychological impact of fertility treatments. Mary explains that there are a number of factors that can affect your fertility and there are things you can do to improve your chances of conceiving. We hear advice on what you can do if you are experiencing fertility problems as we learn about the new HSE Regional Fertility Hubs, providing free services to people experiencing fertility problems such as IUI, IVF and ICSI, are available for people who meet the access criteria.

For more information, visit Your fertility page for valuable resources and insights.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

COVID-19 & Flu Vaccines Explained

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, host Fergal Fox talks to Dr. Sarah Geoghegan, Clinical Lead of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC), and Gillian Buggy, Regional Flu Lead for South East Community Healthcare. They discuss the COVID-19 and Flu vaccinations, explaining the rationale and the importance of these programmes. They highlight the significance of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in saving people from serious illness and death during the pandemic, and touch on the recent research published on this. We learn from Dr. Geoghegan about how vaccines work as she expands on the effectiveness of vaccination and also the side-effects. Gillian talks about how important it is for certain groups to get vaccinated ahead of winter, particularly healthcare workers, and what to expect when getting vaccinated. They also answer questions from healthcare workers, such as ‘Why would I need a covid vaccine… sure covid is gone!’ For more information about COVID-19 and flu vaccines, visit hse.ie.

If you are a healthcare worker and wish to access the 15 minute online training about the benefits of vaccines. “The Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines for Healthcare Workers - protect yourself, protect others” is a short online course designed to educate and inform healthcare workers about the flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and to address some of the things you should know about the vaccines. Go to hseland.ie and search for it.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Understanding HIV in 2023

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing podcast, host Eamon Keogh discusses HIV with Professor Fiona Lyons, HSE Clinical Lead of the Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Program and Consultant in Genitourinary Medicine at Saint James’ Hospital Dublin, and Aoife Commins, a practicing nurse who is living with HIV. They cover the progress made in HIV treatment, the importance of early intervention, and the challenges of stigma and discrimination. Fiona highlights the decrease in first-time HIV diagnoses as she explains the need for normalising HIV testing. Aoife shares her personal experience living with HIV, including her initial misdiagnosis and the stigma she has faced. Fiona discusses the highly effective treatments and how science has progressed. We also hear about the importance of creating a safe space for individuals to disclose their status.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

If you are looking for more information about HIV, you can visit any of the links below:

HIV Ireland: hivireland.ie
GOSHH: goshh.ie
Sexual Health West: sexualhealthwest.ie
Information about treatment and HIV care: aidsmap.com
Useful information for people living with or affected by HIV: Information on HIV (sexualwellbeing.ie)
Healthcare professionals looking for more information: HIV Indicator Conditions

Winter Wellness

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast, we discuss Winter Wellness with Dr. Edel Doorley, HSE GP Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control (AMRIC). Dr. Doorley provides advice on managing common illnesses, emphasising the importance of hand hygiene, vaccinations, and self-care. She highlights the HSE Common Conditions website as a resource for parents and encourages physical activity and social connections for mental health. The discussion also touches on the importance of routine and resources available in local communities for non-emergency health concerns. The "Catch it, Kill it, Bin it" initiative, promoting proper coughing etiquette, is also highlighted by Dr. Doorley as she encourages everyone to maintain simple ways to prevent the spread of infections. Hosted by Fergal Fox. More information on Winter Wellness is available on the How to keep well in winter page and the HSE Common Conditions page can also answer lots of questions.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Vaping: Get the Facts

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing podcast, Dr. Paul Kavanagh, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Public Health Advisor for the HSE Tobacco Free Ireland Programme, discusses the harmful effects of vaping and e-cigarettes, particularly among children and young people. Susan MacNicholas, a stop smoking advisor, shares her experiences working with young people who vape and emphasises the addictive nature of nicotine, They discuss the increasing trend of vaping among young people, the harmful chemicals contained in e-cigarettes, and the new legislation to regulate the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Hosted by Noreen Turley, the episode also highlights the importance of quitting smoking and the availability of support services for those who wish to quit.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube.

Links to information and resource below:

A Lookback on 2023

In this episode the hosts of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast reflect on their experiences and the success of the series to date. They discuss standout episodes, including Nikki Killeen's discussion about the Safer Nightlife Programme as they identified new drugs at music festivals, Prof. Bobby Smyth's insights on addiction in young people, and Dr. Sheila Gilheaney's episode about the work of Alcohol Action Ireland to advance implementation of Alcohol Act and hidden alcohol marketing. They also highlight the power of personal stories in their episodes, the importance of context and humanity in healthcare discussions, and the value of including healthcare staff voices. Hosts, Fergal Fox, Noreen Turley and Eamon Keogh express gratitude to their guests and listeners and look forward to future conversations.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Ten Tips for a Healthy 2024

The HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast relaunches this week as host Fergal Fox, with Senior Health Promotion and Improvement Officers, Dr Michelle Hardie-Murphy and Aisling Doherty, discuss ten tips to kick start the New Year. They talk about setting realistic goals, the importance of enjoying healthy activities and celebrating small victories. The episode emphasises the need for flexibility, self-care, and regular reflection in the face of setbacks. They highlight the HSE’s quit smoking services and other free resources on the Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel and in the community through the likes of ParkRun and Local Sports Partnerships. They underscore the value of getting support for your behaviour change while recognising that many things influence people’s health outside of their lifestyle behaviours.

For more information visit HSE Health and Wellbeing on Youtube, Safefood website, ParkRun, Sport Ireland, Quit.ie, Minding Your Wellbeing and yourmentalhealth.ie.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Parenting: Talking it Out

In our latest HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing Podcast host Eamon Keogh talks with Parenting Facilitators, Lulu O’Kelly, Bray Area Partnership and Linda Pickett, Northside Area Partnership. They talk about the parenting peer groups they run, how they are a safe, non-judgemental place, where day to day experiences, like meal times, screen times and the big one, “Saying No” are discussed. They discuss every day challenges parents face, offering some guidance, based on their vast experiences. They also discuss the value and role of peer support in parenting groups, where parents lean on each other and find comfort in the fact that in most cases, they are all dealing with the same day to day issues.

For more information visit gov.ie/supportingparents/ and Sláintecare Healthy Communities Parenting Groups.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Communities Saving Lives

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing podcast, we hear about the role of Community First Responders (CFRs) from Ger O’Dea, the Community Engagement Manager with the HSE National Ambulance Service. Ger highlights the importance of community involvement in emergency situations, especially in rural Ireland where ambulance response times can be longer and explains how they provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to anybody who wants to become a CFR. Hosted by Fergal Fox, they discuss the critical first five minutes of a cardiac arrest, the misconceptions between cardiac arrest and heart attack, and the automated system that alerts CFRs to emergencies. Ger emphasises the need for widespread CPR training and the use of AEDs, and he encourages listeners to get involved in CFR schemes to help save lives in their communities. The episode highlights the importance of community engagement, training, and the maintenance of emergency response equipment to enhance survival rates in cardiac events. It all makes for a very inspiring episode, which we hope encourages you to play your part in Communities Saving Lives! For more on becoming a CFR go to www.becomeacfr.ie and to learn more about the work of the HSE National Ambulance Service go to www.nationalambulanceservice.ie

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Active Lifestyles for People with Disabilites

In this episode, host Noreen Turley meets with Brenda O'Donnell and Lauren Watters from Active Disability Ireland to discuss their work underway in promoting active lifestyles for people with disabilities. They tell us about the Active Healthy Me programme, which aims to empower people with disabilities to take control of their own health & wellbeing through an online education programme. We also hear about the Sport Inclusion Disability Charter, outlining five key areas people with disabilities are asking all organisations to consider in making active and healthy lifestyles possible for them. We hear about the importance of inclusive policies and a person-first approach, and highlight the challenges faced in youth sports participation and the need for consultation. Brenda outlines future goals, including expanding into education and the collaboration with services across Ireland to update national physical activity guidelines. The episode concludes with a testimonial from Antoinette, emphasising the positive impact of staying active. Activity Disability Ireland host the Active Disability Services Awards which aim to champion the innovative physical activity, health promotion and community inclusion initiatives that have arisen as a result of the service engaging with Active Healthy Me programme. For those interested in the Active Disability Services Awards, the deadline is approaching, and more information can be found on the Active Disability Ireland website activedisability.ie. For further information visit Disability services.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Obesity: Treatments & Trends

In this episode, host Eamon Keogh talks with Professor Donal O’Shea, HSE Clinical Lead, who takes us through the complexities of obesity as a chronic disease. He emphasises the need for empathy and a shift in perception towards individuals with obesity and highlights the connection between obesity and over 200 conditions, advocating for a shift in focus towards treating obesity itself to prevent these complications. Donal also talks about the importance of language and communication in healthcare., the way we talk about obesity can either perpetuate stigma or foster support. He goes on to discuss the emergence of new treatments for obesity, based on hormones and gut mechanisms that offer significant benefits in terms of health improvement and weight loss. For obesity support information visit icpobesity.org or if you’d like to read more on HSE Model of Care for the Management of Overweight and Obesity visit Model of Care.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Your Child’s Vaccine Journey

In this episode, host Fergal Fox discusses vaccinations with Dr Lucy Jessop, Director of the National Immunisation Office, and parent representative Lorraine Hughes. Dr Jessop provides a clear explanation of how vaccines work, teaching the immune system to recognise and combat diseases before they can take hold. She stresses the importance of following the recommended vaccination schedule as this proactive approach to health is crucial in safeguarding our children during their most vulnerable stages. We discuss the vaccination schedule for children, including the introduction of the HPV vaccine for boys and its role in cancer prevention, as Lorraine shares her son's vaccination experience. The episode also addresses vaccines recommended during pregnancy, the importance of timely vaccinations to prevent disease resurgence and the need for accurate information from reliable sources. It highlights the role of healthcare professionals in building parental trust and ensuring children receive vaccinations at the right time. For further information visit immunisation.ie or if you’d like to read or download the current immunisation schedule visit Current Schedule.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.

Sláintecare Healthy Communities

In this episode of the HSE Talking Health and Wellbeing podcast, we discuss the Sláintecare Healthy Community initiative in Dublin's North East Inner City with guests Catherine Heaney and Cáit Donnelly. They explore the recent evaluation report and the importance of partnerships between the HSE Health and Wellbeing and community organisations like Dublin City Community Co-op. The conversation highlights the diverse and complex communities they serve, including areas of disadvantage and the impact of social determinants on health. The Sláintecare Healthy Communities project aims to improve long-term health and wellbeing by addressing broader social needs alongside lifestyle factors. The episode emphasises the value of partnership working and community development in health promotion. For more information, visit https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/slaintecare-healthy-communities/

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Youth Drug & Alcohol Support

In this podcast episode we speak with Emer Loughrey, Counsellor and Dr Monica Whyte Systemic Family Therapist who work together in Youth Drug and Alcohol (YoDA), a service within HSE Addiction service that work with young people engaged in problematic drug or alcohol use whilst supporting their families. In this episode, they discuss the critical topic of substance use among young people, with a focus on the services provided by YoDA service in Tallaght, Dublin. They shed light on the prevalent substances among youth today, such as cannabis, nitrous oxide, and alcohol, and the impacts these substances can have on their lives. One key takeaway from this episode is the importance of early detection of substance abuse, as indicated by subtle signs like mood changes or a decline in academic performance. Emma and Dr. Whyte stress the importance of open communication with young people, especially during the transition from primary to secondary school, and emphasise the vital role of maintaining strong family connections and communication. The multidisciplinary approach of YoDA is highlighted, showcasing their comprehensive support system for young individuals, which encompasses addressing family dynamics and peer pressure. For concerned parents seeking support options, they offer resources available through https://drugs.ie/.

Listen on Podbean and on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.