Dublin City University has launched a health and wellbeing charter for students and staff as part of plans to achieve the designation of a “Health Promoting University” by 2022.
The university developed the “DCU Healthy Charter” to guide health promotion in a comprehensive and coordinated manner and to facilitate a “whole-university” approach to health and wellbeing.
Launched at DCU’s St Patrick’s campus this morning by Deputy President of DCU, Professor Daire Keogh, along with Director of Sports and Wellbeing, James Galvin and DCU Students’ Union President Vito Moloney Burke, the “DCU Healthy Charter” provides the guiding principles for creating a healthy setting that promotes physical, mental and social wellbeing for DCU’s students and staff community of almost 20,000 people across three campuses in North Dublin.
The healthy charter and framework is inspired by the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools Model and was devised in response to one of the key goals of the University’s Strategic Plan that emphasise the importance of student and staff health and wellbeing.
Recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO) specific to Ireland highlighted that, by 2020, 40% of males and 37% of females will be obese and that by 2030, 47% of males and females will be obese.
Furthermore, findings from a “My World Survey” by Jigsaw, the most comprehensive study of youth mental health in Ireland for those aged 12-25, found that college, money and work issues were the top three stressors for young people.
DCU has already implemented various initiatives to support health and wellbeing and appointed a full-time Health Promotion Officer, Caroline Mahon, earlier this year. The launch of the charter and framework represents a significant step to direct a unified “whole-university” approach to health and wellbeing.
The charter includes a commitment to engage key stakeholders in the promotion of health and wellbeing, to link students and staff to support services to meet their health and wellbeing needs, to provide opportunities for all to learn about and take actions to enhance health and wellbeing.
The programme of work will be led by the university’s Department of Sports and Wellbeing. Key initiatives will target specific factors for health and wellbeing and include:
Think Healthy - Mental Health & Wellbeing
Eat Healthy - Healthy Eating
Move Healthy - Physical Activity
Live Healthy - Alcohol & Other Drugs
Feel Healthy - Sexual Health
Breathe Healthy - Smoking
Prof Daire Keogh, Deputy President of DCU, said:
“The health and wellbeing of all our students and staff is a priority for us at DCU, so I am delighted to see the Healthy Charter being launched today. In taking a ‘whole university’ approach, we want to ensure that everyone will have an opportunity to both educate themselves and to take action on their own health.”
Director of Sports and Wellbeing, James Galvin said:
“The launch of the “DCU Healthy Charter”and framework represents our first step towards becoming a “Health Promoting University”. This charter and framework looks to integrate health and wellbeing into the culture, processes and policies of DCU.
It also demonstrates our strong commitment to health, wellbeing and providing a transformative experience for our shared community.”
Speaking at the event, President of DCU Students’ Union, Vito Moloney Burke, said:
“Today highlights a deep commitment to the health and wellbeing of the DCU community from a wide variety of staff and stakeholders, which is what makes the occasion so heartening. A cohesive approach to tackle the many issues facing today’s generation of students is the one that will ultimately prove to be the most effective. Through this, students have been provided with an opportunity to vocalise exactly what aspects of health and wellbeing they believe need to be addressed, a crucial aspect of the charter.
This is an exciting moment, as it marks the continuation of our bid to see the student body overcome the hurdles of today and continue to prosper.”