Cork Kerry Community Healthcare smoking cessation experts are reminding the public that tomorrow (Wednesday) is National No Smoking Day. As a result, the HSE is calling on people who smoke to prepare to take the 28-day #TheLastStop no smoking challenge in March – and local support is available.
Research shows that four in five people (79%) who smoke intend to kick the habit, and those who succeed in quitting for 28 days are five times more likely to quit for good.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic was a trigger for some to start smoking again. This is not surprising given that many use smoking as a way of managing stress, but the fact is that smoking does not actually reduce stress but speeds up the heart rate, which increases blood pressure, and increases stress. The good news is that within one to two days of quitting oxygen levels in your body will improve, your blood pressure and pulse reduce which in turn decreases the overall stress on your body.
“The Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Smoking Cessation Service is free and available to you today, to support you to quit smoking,” Anna Burns, Tobacco Control Manager, Health & Wellbeing, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic we have maintained our service, due to the importance of quitting for health. The World Health Organisation stated in 2020 that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers. Quitting immediately reduces the risk of respiratory infection. Smoking further damages blood vessels, and this is linked to the development of more severe symptoms from COVID-19. If you have an existing health condition we particularly encourage you to quit. Your local Smoking Cessation Advisor is there to support you by phone or virtual consultation. It is never too late. Now is the ideal time.”
The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free support by phone, email, SMS and live chat. Smokers can free call 1800 201 203, FreeText QUIT to 50100 or visit www.QUIT.ie for stop smoking tips and resources, a free QUIT Kit, and to create a QUIT Plan.
Peer-to-peer support is available on the QUIT Facebook Page www.facebook.com/HSEQUIT or on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam
You can also contact your local Smoking Cessation service in Kerry by calling Margaret Enright on 087 1219618.
Five Top Tips to Quit Smoking:
1. Prepare to quit: take a moment to write down your reasons for quitting. Keep them close to hand or even stick them on your fridge as a reminder to stay strong.
2. Change your routine and habits – do you normally have a cigarette with a coffee or tea? Then change your routine – have a cup of water instead or hold your cup in the other hand.
3. Keep check on cravings – your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass if you deal with it.
Have your heard of the 4Ds?
· Delay at least 3 – 5 minutes and the urge will pass,
· Drink a glass of water or fruit juice,
· Distract yourself, move away from the situation,
· Deep breathe – breathe slowly and deeply.
4. Get by with a little help from your friends – supportive friends, family and even work colleagues could make all the difference to you on your QUIT journey.
5. The single best advice is to help yourself QUIT by getting support from the QUIT Team. Our service is available to everyone and is free of charge. By using a support service like our makes you twice as likely to succeed.
Possible return to campus for college students
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
The announcement by the Department of Education this week, that the Leaving Cert results will be issued on Friday, September 3, was followed by confirmation from the Central Applications Office that CAO Round 1 offers will be issued online, four days later on Tuesday, September 7 at 2pm.
This is about three weeks later than normal, although it is earlier than the 2020 dates. Coinciding with the release of these dates comes the news from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, that it is the priority of Government to get college students back on campus for the 2021/2022 academic year. Because of the later issue of Leaving Cert results and CAO offers, this means that First Year students will start college a couple of weeks later than those who are returning to college in Second, Third and Fourth Year.
From the point of social distancing, the staggered start may be an advantage, as we will still be living with certain restrictions due to COVID-19. There are a number of contributing factors what will influence a safe and successful return to the college campus for students according to Minister Harris. They include the roll-out and take-up of vaccinations in the college-age cohort by September, the use of rapid testing on campus which has been run as a pilot in several universities this year, and a varied approach to face-to-face lectures. It is hoped that smaller classes, practicals and tutorials can be operated as before with social distancing while the larger lectures may need to be facilitated using a blended approach. It is also felt that if cafés, restaurants and bars are open everywhere else, there is no reason why they can’t open on campus. This of course is all based on vaccinations and public health guidelines.
A big concern for First Year students following the announcements is the fact that they will be looking for accommodation later than all other students. This is an issue every single year because when CAO offers are issued, many students get offers for colleges in locations where they have not secured accommodation. Naturally it is of particular concern to rural students and mirrors a greater societal shortage of accommodation. Minister Harris has also stated that he is bringing a proposal to Cabinet in the coming weeks to implement legislation which means that the owners of purpose-built student accommodation will only be allowed to charge rents a month in advance rather than insisting on payment of rent for half of the college year, something which has put enormous strain on students and their families over the years.
So, while any kind of certainty surrounding a return to ‘normal’ college life isn’t possible, it is both hopeful and exciting for new and returning college students to be able to look forward to the next college year with the prospect of getting to enjoy a real college experience and all that has to offer.
I will be hosting a free webinar for Leaving Cert parents on June 16 at 7pm on ‘How to help your son/daughter with CAO Change of Mind and other career options’ ahead of the CAO deadline on July 1.
To register see links on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram: @mycareerplan or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Deadline for health and well-being fest fast approaching
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching. This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10. Organised by an interagency […]
Friday June 25, the closing date to register an interest in hosting an activity or event during the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, is fast approaching.
This year’s #KerryMHWFest will run from October 9 to 16. It is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
Organised by an interagency steering group, the key focus of the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events.
“The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active – as well as raising awareness of the available supports and services in the county,” Chair of the Steering Committee, Donagh Hennebry, said.
“The Fest has a wide reach across Kerry and we want to continue to build on its success in 2021. But we can’t do this without you! We are inviting anyone who is interested in helping us achieve our goal, by hosting an event(s) during #KerryMHWFest, to register online as soon as possible.”
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.
To register your interest to host an event for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, visit www.healthykerry.ie before close of business on Friday, June 25.
For more information about registration, promotion, or the Fest in general, please contact the interagency steering group at: email@example.com.
Free and subsidised higher education courses for Kerry
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry. The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in […]
11 free and subsidised higher education places have been announced for Kerry under the Springboard+ 2021 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1 initiatives. The courses, which open for applications today (Wednesday), will run at Munster Technological University Kerry.
The courses on offer include a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy Management & Practice, a Certificate in Retail Food Service Operations and a Postgraduate Diploma in Bioeconomy with Business.
Over 10,000 places are available across both programmes nationwide in 2021.
Springboard+ provides free courses for people who are unemployed, people who have taken time out of work or education to raise their families or care for loved ones, or people who want to upskill. Now in its 10th year, over 75,000 people have benefited from Springboard+ to date.
Courses under the HCI Pillar 1 programme are aimed at graduates and offer incentivised places for them to reskill in areas of skills shortage and emerging technologies. These are being run alongside, and complementary to, the Springboard+ offerings.
For those in employment, the Government will fund 90% of the cost of a Springboard+ or HCI Pillar 1 course. The programmes are managed by the Higher Education Authority on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills.
Launching the programme, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, TD said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need to ensure that people have the skills they need”.
Candidates who wish to participate will find full details on the approved courses on www.springboardcourses.ie. Experienced guidance counsellors will be available to advise potential Springboard+ and HCI Pillar 1 participants on their options on the freephone Springboard+ helpline: 1800 303 523. The helpline is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
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