Pictured above: Priscilla Lynch, Health and Wellbeing Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Cork County Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy, Presidential Candidate Senator Joan Freeman and Dr Fiona Brennan, NLN, pictured at the launch of a new mental health and wellbeing service for communities in West Cork, called The Wellbeing Network. The launch took place in Drimoleague Community Hall on Wednesday, October 3. www.thewellbeingnetwork.ie Pic: Gerard McCarthy
Anew mental health and wellbeing service for communities in West Cork ‘The Wellbeing Network’ was launched at a public event in Drimoleague on October 3.
This new initiative, which is run by Cork and Kerry Community Healthcare and the National Learning Network, will serve a population of approx. 59,444 (Census 2016) across West Cork Communities. It is a preventative approach, rather than a medical one, that recognises the need for communities to access resources on their own doorstep – access to non-clinical and medical supports, and information about self-care. The aim is to empower people to take ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing, to ensure they are well-equipped to protect themselves in times of difficulty.
The Wellbeing Network adopts an innovative social prescribing model, which means that it operates as a mobile service in response to requests from local stakeholders. These stakeholders have already been consulted widely and include community groups, resource centres, volunteers, parish members, ETB personnel and Community liaisons with the HSE to bring resources to their locality. The aim is to host at least two events per month in various localities.
Commenting on the need for a service like The Wellbeing Network, County Mayor Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy, who has been involved since the project’s inception, said “I am thrilled that our plans for a community-based wellbeing service have come to fruition. It will be of particular benefit in an area like West Cork, which has rural and remote populations spread across mountainous areas and three peninsulas. The service will provide much needed information an individuals’ wellbeing and is something I believe can have a positive impact towards strengthening a communities’ ability to care for themselves and each other”.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Priscilla Lynch, Head of Service Health and Wellbeing, Cork Kerry Community Health Care explained “The Wellbeing Network aims to move away from a medical model of mental health and work more with a social model – recognising the need for individuals to access non-clinical resources to enable them to improve their health and wellbeing. An important part of the ‘preventative approach’ is the provision of information so that everyone can be fully informed about what is available in their community, what things might work to help them through difficult periods and most of all to empower people to take ownership of their own wellbeing.”