‘Local communities can make a significant contribution to improving health and wellbeing when they are empowered to make positive changes for themselves’.
This was the message at ‘Building fit and well communities’, a recent event in the Northern area organised by the Public Health Agency (PHA), in partnership with the Networks Involving Communities in Health Improvement (NICHI) and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
Mary Black, Assistant Director of Public Health, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, PHA, said: “The Public Health Agency has a lead role in improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities, we do this in partnership with others, including local communities.
“This event highlighted some excellent work, such as ‘Incredible Edible Cloughmills’, where Patrick Frew, Cloughmills Community Action Team, explained how involving everyone from toddlers to older people in this local food project enabled residents to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of their community. Other organisations provided excellent information and advice on a range of issues including, volunteering, mental health, drugs and alcohol, sexual health and smoking cessation.
The engagement evening was an opportunity to share good practice, find out about local health and wellbeing support and resources and to consider the new Public Health Framework, currently out for consultation.
Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), also spoke on the Public Health Framework, currently under public consultation. The concluding debate and feedback will form a consultation response, to DHSSPS, and contribute to future developments in tackling health inequalities in the Northern area.
Contact PHA Communications on (028) 9055 3663.
Notes to the editor
- Photo caption: Declan Donnelly (Ballymoney Borough Council), Mary Black (Public Health Agency), Dr Michael McBride (Chief Medical Officer), Veronica McKinley (Networks Involving Communities in Health Improvement Officer) and Patrick Frew (Cloughmills Community Action Team) at the ‘Building fit and well communities’ event, organised by the Public Health Agency (PHA) in partnership with the Networks Involving Communities in Health Improvement (NICHI) and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
- Building Fit and Well Communities – A Community Development Approach to Tackling Health Inequalities, was held from 6:00-9:30pm, Tuesday 9 October at the Braid, Ballymena Town Hall
- ‘Networks Involving Communities in Health Improvement’ works to achieve effective community involvement in health and social wellbeing improvement across all of the Northern area