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About Health Matters
Welcome to UCC Health Matters
What is UCC Health Matters?
UCC Health Matters is the health promoting initiative on campus. It is a collaboration of staff and students who are working towards a healthier university environment for all. We utilise the World Health Organisation's "Health Promoting University" framework which takes into account three things:
- The protection of health and the promotion of wellbeing for staff, students, and the wider community through policies and practices
- Relating health promotion to research and teaching
- Developing health promotion alliances and outreach links in the community.
UCC Health Matters has been established to improve staff and students' health and wellbeing, to help co-ordinate any and all health promoting events/projects on campus, so as to improve their effectiveness and impact whilst also seeking to ensure that UCC as a place of study and work is health-enabling and health-promoting.
UCC achieved its goal in becoming a recognised Health Promoting University in February 2015. Through UCC Health Matters, HSE South presented UCC with a flag which represents the university's continued commitment to Health Promotion for all staff and students.
If you are interested, click on the side bar to read the UCC Health Matters Action Plan.
UCC Health Matters has 6 action areas. Each of these areas have a working group made up of both staff and students:
- Food, Nutrition, & Sustainability
- Alcohol & Substance Abuse
- Mental Health & Wellbeing
- Sexual Health
- Physical Activity & Active Transport
- Safety & Built Environment
Each of the working groups have, or are in the process of devising, an action plan to work on issues which need improvement within the action area. Meetings are every few months in order to monitor progress in the action area.
We encourage new participants with an interest in any of the action areas to get involved by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Student engagement is particularly important to the initiative. Since student turnover is high, we especially encourage you to get involved, if even for a year or just a semester; your input can be invaluable to the progress of achieving success.
A Health Promoting University: Our Journey
UCC Health Matters has achieved its goal of gaining HSE recognition as a Health Promoting University in February 2015.
The main aims of the Health Promoting University (HPU) Initiative are:
- To integrate within the university's culture and structures a committment to health and to developing its health promotion potential.
- To promote the health and wellbeing of staff, students, and the wider community.
The HPU settings approach provides a more integrated and cohesive mechanism for addressing multiple health issues. The strategic focus is on the whole campus community and its population, policies, and environment.
The drive for HPU status originated in 2009, when the UCC Healthy Living Group was formed to consider how the University would best promote healthy living and responsible alcohol use on campus. During these groups meetings, the decision was made to work towards becoming a Health Promoting University, and the proposal was written in 2011. 'Health Matters' was given as the name of the initiative.
The Steering Group for Health Matters was established in 2012, and its role is to guide and support UCC Health Matters as per the HSE guidelines. The agenda is guided as per the HPU process, and also by general issues in relation to health and wellbeing within the university, the local community, and nationally.
Each of the six action areas has a designated working group made up of staff and students across the university. See action areas for more details. The aim of these working groups is to devise a health promoting action plan specific to their area, and oversee its implementation over time. If you are interested in getting involved with any of the working groups, please contact email@example.com to become an ambassador of health. New and interested people are always welcome to contribute to the work of UCC Health Matters!
In November 2012, the UCC Health Matters Action Plan was completed. This was formally launched in December 2012, and and agreement form was signed by a representative of the HSE and the President of UCC. At the end of 2013, UCC Health Matters was awarded 'An Duais Mor' at the Irish Healthcare Awards for the groundbreaking work which has been taking place around alcohol.