HSE services at Traveller Wellness Evening in Co. Wexford

The HSE/South East Community Healthcare (SECH), along with Wexford Local Development, the Ferns Diocesan Youth Service and Traveller Community Programmes participated in a “Wellness Evening” for Travellers in Enniscorthy on Tuesday of this week.

The event in the Riverside Hotel featured a number of facilitated workshops, including Men’s Wellbeing, Sleeping Well, Health and fitness, Yoga and relaxation, Creativity through Colour, the ‘One million Stars Project’ and a Drug Services Information workshop.  

A number of stands were available on the night, which included the HSE’s “Quit” (stop smoking) programme, the HSE’s “Connecting for Life” (inter agency strategy for reduction of suicides) and the HSE’s Substance Misuse/drug awareness services.

The Suicide or Survive(SOS), Samaritans, Pieta House and ‘Cycle against Suicide’ were also on hand. There were a range of other focuses too, such as Traveller Culture, Healthy Wexford, Social Prescribing, Sports Active Wexford and service providers present such as Wexford County Council, and An Garda Siochána.

Among those present on behalf of the HSE were Mary Byrne (Traveller Mental Health Coordinator, SECH) and Tracy Nugent (Service Manager/Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, SECH).

Speaking at the Wellness Evening, Mary Byrne said:“The hosting of a wellbeing focused evening was one of the key actions from the Wexford Traveller Mental Health Subgroup which I currently chair. We were able to organise funded transport from across Co. Wexford to support attendance at this event, we had great support from so many Service Providers and the event ended up with an input and a song by the Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council Cllr. George Lawlor.”

“The HSE is keen to address any disadvantages in terms of health status and access to health services in the Traveller community and provides support through a range of primary care projects and other initiatives, including the ongoing work of our Traveller Health Unit locally in Co. Wexford.”

Tracy Nugent emphasised the work being done to improve mental health outcomes for Travellers and to reduce suicide rates in their community: “The national strategy is applied here in Co. Wexford in the form of the Connecting for Life integrated action plan involving ranges of organisations from the Gardai to the local authority and the input its composition had from so many stakeholders in communities across the county. We are all working together to promote positive mental health and a chance to focus on one community like we have at the Wellness Evening helps in that work.”

Last updated on: 12 / 05 / 2023