Health Board: upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

1) Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in children and teenagers is the theme of a public talk by Aaron Swift, counselling psychologist at St Patrick's Mental Health Services on Wednesday, April 18th at 7pm in St Patrick's University Hospital, James St, Dublin 2. Admission free and no advanced booking required. See also

2) Young people who have survived cancer and their parents are invited to partake in focus groups in Dublin, Cork and Galway to build a picture of their future health needs. These sessions will take place in April and are organised by the National Cancer Control Programme.   Email Dr Peter Barrett (, specialist registrar in public health medicine if you're interested in contributing to this important research.    See also

3) Poverty, inadequate housing and education have huge effects on health. Access to healthcare, isolation/social connectedness and personal security are other determinants of health. Headspace 2018, a free public event in Trinity College Dublin on April 27th and 28th will look at the impact caring communities, scientific research and cultural solutions can have on dementia. Advance booking essential on

4) There is a growing momentum to halt the land and marine pollution caused by plastic waste. The #Sickofplastic campaign run by Friends of the Earth is drawing attention to the abundance of unnecessary packaging on much of our food on Saturday, April 21st. Food shoppers are encouraged to "shop and drop" – which means to leave all plastic packaging behind them in the supermarkets when buying their groceries that day.


5) The annual cycle, Cycle Against Suicide goes ahead from April 28th – May 7th, spreading the message that "It's OK not to feel OK" and "It's absolutely OK to ask for help'.The event raises awareness of the support networks that are available to people who are suffering from depression and/or self-harm and those bereaved by suicide. Over 15,000 cyclists will pass through 17 counties and 67 towns, stopping at 40 locations along the 750 km route. See also

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about health, heritage and the environment