The overall aim of our Wellbeing work is to improve the physical and mental health of women and provide opportunities which will enable them to achieve their full potential.
First Steps Women's Centre (FSWC) has a holistic approach to women’s education and personal development. We strive to anticipate the barriers women may face when they return to education and help them overcome these, for example, providing Childcare and Transport.
The role of the Wellbeing Co-ordinator was created as there was recognition within FSWC that women needed support and education in relation to their health and wellbeing.
Women can face many changes and demands on their health throughout the course of their lives, such as motherhood, menopause, bereavement, divorce, changes in financial circumstances, caring for a family member etc. A number of women who attended our courses were living with long term medical conditions or mental ill health (some just newly diagnosed). The relaxed comfortable and supportive environment here enables women to confide in Staff about issues which have impacted on their lives. This can include the loss of confidence and self esteem. There were also a number of women who visited FSWC who didn’t feel quite ready to undertake a qualification but wanted to enroll in a short course. Many of these women now start with a Health Promotion course to build up their confidence and then progress on to an accredited course.
It is important to note that many women undertake these courses for enjoyment and the opportunity to get out and meet other women and socialise.
FSWC new Wellbeing Co-ordinator Amanda Boyd has held this post since August 2015. Amanda is qualified in Reiki / Seichim, The Art of Feminine Presence courses / workshops, Coaching and Yoga / Relaxation.
Amanda says "For my personal interest and so I can bring the very best to our participants, I continue to be a student of leadership and personal and spiritual growth learning the most up to date techniques, strategies and systems that simply work. As I apply these strategies and tools , I am passionate about sharing them with others so they too can overcome the same challenges and fears I have experienced and help make a bigger impact in their lives"
Amanda's work is funded through ESF/DFE and The Arts Council.
Long waits in A and E aren’t something any of us want to experience, but unfortunately we know many people do.
We are working with the Health and Social Care system to make sure patients’ voices are acted on, to improve experiences for everyone who attends A and E. One of the discussions we are having is about information for people to help them make decisions about care when they need it.
Hospitals in England publish information on waiting times in Emergency Departments on their websites, so its available to everyone and people can know wait times before they go.
This type of information is not currently available in Northern Ireland.
Do you think it would be useful?
What other information about Emergency Departments would be helpful?
Maybe how long you might have to wait for an ambulance?
Please let me know what you think so we can include your ideas in this work - You can view comments or add yours here
Read more about this work
Courtesy of Client & Patient Council
New PHA cancer awareness campaign
The PHA has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of cancer signs and symptoms, and to encourage anyone who experiences any of these to contact their GP.
At least one in three of us will get cancer, and with an increasing number of cases each year in Northern Ireland, the campaign is very timely. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the easier it can be to treat, so the ‘Be Cancer Aware’ campaign highlights how important it is to know what to look out for and to get yourself checked if you notice anything which could point towards cancer.
Health Minister Jim Wells joined PHA at the launch event at the Grove Health and Wellbeing Centre, which was attended by a broad range of representatives from cancer charities, as well as cancer survivors.
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Scientists have proposed a new idea for detecting brain conditions including Alzheimer's - a skin test.
Their work, which is at an early stage, found the same abnormal proteins that accumulate in the brain in such disorders can also be found in skin.
Early diagnosis is key to preventing the loss of brain tissue in dementia, which can go undetected for years.
But experts said even more advanced tests, including ones of spinal fluid, were still not ready for clinic.
If they were, then doctors could treatment at the earliest stages, before irreversible brain damage or mental decline has taken place.
Courtesy of BBC News
This week we heard about a consultation which includes the idea of re-introducing prescription charges.
You might remember a few years back, in 2010 the Health Minister at the time, Michael McGimpsey, MLA abolished charging for prescription. Now, the Minister for Health, Jim Wells, is asking people about paying for prescriptions. The Minister told the Assembly, that charges would help finance a Specialist Medicines Fund, which patients could apply for specific drugs.
A few years ago, people told us that while they didn’t mind paying a small charge, they wanted vulnerable people to be protected. People felt the economic and social situation of patients and clients in Northern Ireland need to be taken into account; for example medication for pensioners, children and people on low incomes should remain free.
Do you think we should be charged for prescriptions? Would you pay?
To view or add your comments, click here
Information courtesy of Patient and Client Council
Current discussions about health and social care have been asking if patients expectations are too high.
People tell us that they expect to receive the right care, at the right time and in the right place. People expect that their services will be as safe as possible and there will be honest dialogue with them when things go wrong.
People also expect that they will be involved in discussions around the services that they are receiving particularly where changes are planned to these services.
Better communication with patients and the public would help to ensure that service providers understand better what the expectations of people are which would lead to a more responsive health and social care service.
To read or add your comments, click here
Avoiding tobacco, alcohol and excessive sun exposure; maintaining a healthy body weight; and being physically active are among 12 ways to prevent cancer prescribed by the new European Code Against Cancer. The Code also recommends participation in organized screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer.
WHO’s specialized cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), developed the Code to improve cancer control. Revised with the best available scientific evidence, the 4th edition of the Code lists 12 ways to adopt healthier lifestyles and boost cancer prevention across Europe. It is the outcome of a two-year collaboration between cancer specialists, scientists and other experts.
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