Sláintecare Healthy Communities

The Sláintecare Healthy Communities (SHC) Programme is a cross-government initiative in Ireland aimed at reducing health inequalities.  Launched in 2021, this programme provides health and wellbeing services as well as community development initiatives in 19 community areas across the country where health inequalities are most pronounced. Here are some key points about the programme:

  1. Local Focus: The SHC program takes a life course and place-based approach, addressing local needs and social determinants where they originate. It is implemented at a local level by local level by local authorities, the Health Service Executive and various community partners..
  2. Community Partnerships: The programme involves collaboration with a wide range of partners, including local authorities, statutory bodies, voluntary organizations, and community groups. Together, they work to provide dedicated services that promote and improve the overall health and wellbeing of people in the selected communities.
  3. Core Initiatives: Within each of the 19 Healthy Community areas, a core group of services is established to support people’s wellbeing. These initiatives include:
    • Stop Smoking Advisor: Providing 1-1 support to smokers within the community, including the provision of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (Stop Smoking medication) and support for smoke-free environments.
    • We Can Quit: A friendly and supportive 12-week program to help people quit smoking and stay quit for good.
    • Parenting Programs: Evidence-based parenting programs for vulnerable families to support mental health and healthy child development.
    • Healthy Food Made Easy: A nutrition and cookery course to promote healthier diets and budget-friendly meal planning.

The aim of the Healthy Communities Programme in Cavan is to identify specific areas in which high risk factors to the health and wellbeing of the population are particularly prevalent, with a view to implementing targeted initiatives to tackle these challenges from within these communities. This will be achieved through partnership with a range of stakeholders and through the provision of dedicated services to build sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of those of all ages living in these communities.

Implementation of these services will follow a set of guiding principles:

  • Target areas with greatest level of disadvantage combined with highest proportion of young families and aligned to existing SICAP (Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme) areas.
  • Ensuring interventions are evidence informed and aligned with national and international best practice programmes and government policies.
  • Coordinate planning and delivery of the interventions with Local Authorities and local Community Development Organisations.
  • Leverage existing cross sectoral community-based assets (leadership, people, structures, infrastructure) and strengthen cross sectoral partnerships.
  • Align to the HSE clinical and operational governance structure and local SICAP areas.

Sláintecare Healthy Communities Areas in County Cavan