Council Partners Health News

Healthy Fingal Promoting Mental Health In Public Parks

Healthy Fingal has organised the Woodlands for Health Programme in Newbridge Demesne to assist mental health service users in the Swords and Balbriggan public parks areas. This referral only walking initiative is aimed at promoting mental health in partnership with the HSE Mental Health Services and Fingal County Council’s Sports Office in the tranquil settings of Newbridge Demesne, Donabate.

The project is centred around engaging mental health service users in Balbriggan and Swords through light exercise activities and guided 2-3km walks within the serene and natural surroundings of Newbridge Demesne. Over the span of 10 weeks, participants will have the opportunity to take part in these activities under the thoughtful guidance of occupational therapists and an experienced physical activity tutor.

Healthy Fingal Coordinator, Niall Mc Guirk, spoke about the programme, “Woodlands for Health represents a significant step forward in supporting mental health and well-being within Fingal. It is a testament to the power of collaborative efforts in supporting mental health initiatives that this collaboration not only promotes physical activity but also harnesses the therapeutic benefits of nature in aiding mental health recovery.”

The collaboration between Healthy Fingal, the HSE Mental Health Services, and Fingal County Council’s Sports Office emphasizes the shared commitment to providing holistic support for mental health service users. This initiative aims to add to the positive impact of physical exercise, nature, and professional guidance in a safe and supportive environment.

Gerry Reardon, Principal Sports Officer, Fingal County Council, expressed his enthusiasm for the program, stating, “the Woodlands for Health Programme underscores our dedication to fostering community engagement, promoting physical activity and supporting mental health initiatives that utilise our local resources.”

Kevin Murphy, Senior Occupational Therapist, HSE Mental Health Team, gave his thought son the programme, “this is the second Woodlands for Health project this year in Fingal with a very successful initial programme at Ardgillan Demesne, Balbriggan, in the summer, and I’m delighted Healthy Fingal have plans to deliver the programme in 2024 to continue to provide a holistic approach to mental health support.”

Source: Fingal County Council

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