Over 500 Transition Year students from 30 schools from around Cork county and city will come together on May 1st for ‘Teen Talk’, a health and wellbeing conference with an exciting line up of high profile speakers including Bressie and Dr. Pixie McKenna, which will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island.
The fully booked out event being organised by Cork County Council, in association with their Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) and funded under Healthy Ireland, will focus on four main areas – Fitness, Healthy Food, Mental Health, and General Health & Wellbeing.
Guest speakers include Blizzards front man and well-known mental health advocate, Niall Beslin, better known as ‘Bressie’, who will speak to students about mental health and the importance looking after yourself; and Cork born celebrity doctor, radio and TV presenter, Dr Pixie McKenna, best known for hosting ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, who will give an overview on general health and wellbeing.
Irish national 60m and 100m hurdle record holder and author of ‘The Fit Foodie’ & ‘Food for the Fast Lane’, Derval O’Rourke will share her advice on eating healthy and the importance of the food you put into your body; while Cork born Olympic race walker and star of RTE’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’, Rob Heffernan will share his top fitness tips to help the teens stay in the best shape they can.
MC for the event is former Rose of Tralee, Maria Walsh, who has spoken openly on the topic of mental health since her reign in 2014; while the event will be officially opened by Minister Jim Daly, Minister for Mental Health & Older People, and Cllr. Declan Hurley, Mayor of Cork County.
Supporting the event through Cork County Council’s three LCDCs is Healthy Ireland, a Government-led initiative funded under the Department of Health and overseen by POBAL who is responsible for managing the programme on behalf of the Government. The aim is to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society. The Healthy Ireland Framework aims to shift the focus to prevention, seeks to reduce health inequalities, and emphasises the need to empower people and communities, including the next generation, to better look after their own health and wellbeing,
Speaking about Healthy Ireland’s support of the upcoming ‘Teen Talk’, Kay Keegan, LCDC Chief Officer of The Community Development Unit at Cork County Council said “The vision of Healthy Ireland is an Ireland where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential; where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility. For that reason ’Teen Talk’ is the ideal event to share the Healthy Ireland message, as we want to get teenagers talking about the importance of their own mental health and wellbeing, and that of their peers, and empower them to act as a support network to each other.”
Speaking at the official launch of ‘Teen Talk’, Cllr. Declan Hurley, Mayor of Cork County said “We have a great line up of speakers for May 1stwho will give students a well-rounded overview of the various aspects of health and wellbeing that are relevant to teenagers today. It is great to see schools engage in events like this, encouraging their students to participate, and recognising the importance of getting discussions going around these very important topics.”
Mr. Tim Lucey, Chief Executive, Cork County Council added that ‘Healthy Ireland takes a ‘whole of Government’ and ‘whole of society’ approach to tackling the major lifestyle issues which lead to negative health outcomes. This event is only one of a number of initiatives that CCC are working with under the Healthy Ireland fund, and going forward we would hope to be able to build on these initiatives.”
All students attending the half day ‘Teen Talk’ event on May 1st will be given a Green Ribbon to wear in support of ‘See Change’, a month long campaign being run by the national Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership, to encourage people in Ireland to end mental health stigma this May.