About Health Matters

Welcome to UCC Health Matters

Welcome to UCC Health Matters

UCC Health Matters is a cross-University collaboration of students and staff who are working towards a healthier University environment for all. UCC Health Matters is utilising the WHO's Health Promoting University framework which takes into account three things:

  • Protection the health and promoting the wellbeing of students, staff and wider community through policies and practices
  • Increasingly 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 student and staff health and wellbeing, to help co-ordinate any and all health promoting events and 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's Health Matters, HSE South presented UCC with a flag which represents the university's continued commitment to Health Promotion for all students and staff.

If you are interested, click on the side bar to read the UCC Health Matters Action Plan.

UCC Health Matters has 8 action areas, of which each has a working group made up of staff and students.

  1. Food and Nutrition
  2. Alcohol and Substance Abuse
  3. Mental Health & Wellbeing
  4. Sexual Health
  5. Physical Activity and Active Transport
  6. Safety
  7. Built Environment
  8. Sustainable Development

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 on the action area.

We encourage new participants with an interest in any of the action areas to get involved by sending an email to hppw@ucc.ie

Student engagement is of particular importance to the initiative, and since there is high turnover of students, we especially encourage you to get involved, if even for a year, or even just a semester; your input can be invaluable to the progress of achieving success.

UCC's 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 formated 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 up 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 was to guide and support UCC Health Matters as per the HSE guidelines, and the agenda is guided as per the HPU process, and guided by general issues in relation to wellbeing in the University, local community and nationally.

Each action area 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.

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.

A number of annual events have begun since the beginning of Health Matters, such as Operation Transformation, Desk to 5K and Health Matters Day. See home page for more details.

If you are interested in getting involved in the working groups, new interested people are always welcome to contribute to the work of Health Matters. Please contact hppw@ucc.ie if you would like to become an ambassador of health!



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