Health and Wellbeing

Whether you live in a city centre, a suburb or deep in the countryside, there are many Determinants of Health that contribute to general health and wellbeing. Factors such as noise, water quality, waste, housing density and the built environment all contribute to our overall feeling of wellness. Indeed, mental health has been defined as a state of wellbeing in which the individual recognises their own abilities and is able to cope with normal daily stresses in life (World Health Organisation, 2018), and as such, our general health and wellbeing are linked intrinsically to the environment in which we live. 

This is considered a vital area of government policy, so much so that the Department of Health introduced a Health and Wellbeing programme in 2013 entitled Healthy Ireland. The programme provides a framework for delivering improved health and wellbeing from 2013 to 2025, and focuses on keeping people healthier for longer.

Aims include:

  • Increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
  • Reduce health inequalities
  • Protect the public from threats to health and wellbeing
  • Create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland

Local authorities are also recognising the importance of wellness. For example, many local authorities nationally operate a Health and Wellbeing Week annually. Moreover, public libraries operated by local authorities provide numerous Health and Wellbeing events annually through the Healthy Ireland programme. You can access a list of Healthy Ireland initiatives in your local area here.

Aspects of the Healthy Ireland programme, along with other critical health and wellbeing areas, will be examined in the following sections: air; biodiversity; climate change; food; noise; the built enivironment; transport; waste; and water.

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