Press Release

Minister Corcoran Kennedy addresses 20th Annual Health Promotion Conference at NUIG

Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion, addressed the 20th Annual Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway today.

Minister Corcoran Kennedy acknowledged the key role that researchers and practitioners in health promotion and improvement play in empowering people to look after their own health and wellbeing.

The Minister said: “In Ireland, the blueprint for how we will promote, protect and improve the health and wellbeing of our people is set out in the Healthy Ireland Framework. Ultimately, improving our health and wellbeing often comes down to people making small, and not so small, changes in their lifestyles and behaviours. It means people choosing to quit smoking, to be more active, to change their diet, to watch how much they drink, to breastfeed their babies and to practice the everyday little things that promote and protect their mental wellbeing. In order to make these changes, people need information, education and supports to equip them to make healthier choices and we need make it easier for people to make the healthier choice.”

Minister Corcoran Kennedy outlined that Healthy Ireland is also about addressing the many social and environmental factors which impact on health and wellbeing, and which create health inequalities.

“We know that enjoyment of good health, unfortunately, is not evenly distributed in society and that, for example, smoking and obesity levels are higher in more deprived areas. So it is important that we build strong intersectoral partnerships for action to address the determinants of lifelong health and wellbeing such as education, employment, housing, local environment. It is important that everyone can actively participate in improving the quality of their own and their families’ lives.”

This 20th annual Health Promotion Conference is held in NUI Galway, and brings together policy makers, researchers and practitioners, as well as international experts, to explore the use of research evidence in developing and implementing intersectoral policy and innovative practice for health promotion.