Dublin City University recently launched the DCU Healthy Charter, a set of guidelines designed to coordinate efforts to promote the health and well-being of students and staff across all three campuses in Glasnevin, St Patrick’s College and All Hallows College. The health and well-being charter is part of the university’s goal of becoming a Health Promoting University by 2022.
The health charter is a spin-off from the World Health Organisation’s Health Promoting Schools framework which was designed to strengthen the capacity of schools to promote healthy living, learning and working conditions. It is also in line with the efforts of Irish universities to ensure the health and well-being of their students and staff.
Spearheaded by DCU’s Director of Sports and Well-being James Galvin, the charter will integrate support services to address the health and well-being needs of the DCU community. Among the issues identified are mental health, healthy eating, physical activity, alcohol and drugs and sexual health.
By integrating programs to address the students’ health needs, Galvin adds, “It also demonstrates our strong commitment to health, well-being and providing a transformative experience for our shared community.”
Focusing on integrated health programs
“The health and well-being of all our students and staff is a priority for us at DCU,” says Prof Daire Keogh, Deputy President of DCU. “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,” he said.
In representing the Students’ Union, Vito Moloney Burke welcomes the establishment of a health charter: “Through this, students have been provided with an opportunity to vocalise exactly what aspects of health and well-being they believe need to be addressed, a crucial aspect of the charter.” He adds, “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.”
“By embedding this [DCU as a Health Promoting University] across our campuses we want to enable students to become change agents for health in their future professional and personal lives,” says Galvin. “It’s about creating a positive environment so people can flourish and thrive, be able to depend on one another and feel confident to ask for help and advice when they need it,” he adds.