Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

Health advice at the Ploughing, Alzheimer’s awareness and the risks of sitting

1) Health and Wellness stands at the 2018 Ploughing Championships will include HSE Live, which offers information and advice on type 2 diabetes, bowel screening, skin cancer, diet and various national health campaigns and personal entitlements. The Ploughing Championships will be held in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly, from September 18th-20th. The HSE Live stand is unit 505-3 in the Health and Wellness Marquee.

2) There are about 4,000 new cases of dementia in Ireland each year. World Alzheimer's Month in September aims to improve public awareness of dementia and support those with the condition. World Alzheimer's Day is marked on Friday, September 21st. See and for more information

3) The fourth annual "Get Up and Go" inspirational conference goes ahead in the Clayton Hotel, Sligo on September 21st and 22nd. Twelve speakers including social entrepreneur Ruairí McKiernan, cancer survivor Momenul Haque and rugby player Su Carty will encourage people to challenge themselves in their personal and professional lives. Tickets €95 (€45 student, unemployed, OAP). Booking: 071 914 6717/086 1053152;

4) Irish digital healthcare provider videoDoc has announced its service will continue, free of charge, for all 374,000 student members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The service will be available to USI students in Ireland and studying overseas until the end of the academic year (June 2019). The Irish company offers a range of online health and wellness services in Ireland and the UK, with the videoDoc service available seven days a week, from 8am to 10pm.


5) The annual all-Ireland conference for the Association of Lactation Consultants of Ireland takes place on Friday and Saturday (September 28th-29th) at Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare. The date coincides with National Breastfeeding Week, with this year's keynote speaker being speaker and author Cathy Carothers, co-director of Every Mother Inc, president of the International Lactation Consultant Association, and chair-elect of the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Details and booking at

6) The Irish Heart Foundation has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the health risks of sitting for long periods of time. Research by Ipsos MRBI shows Irish people spend on average 7.3 hours every day sitting down, rising to 8.9 hours a day for students. People who sit down for long periods are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke. As part of the campaign, the charity has made available a simple online calculator at, where you can see how long you spend sitting every day and get some tips on what to do.

7) Dystonia is a neurological movement disorder which causes muscle contractions, which in turn force certain parts of the body into abnormal, sometimes painful, often repetitive movements and/or postures. The national support group, Dystonia Ireland has designated September as its annual awareness month. See or phone 01-492 2514 for more information.

8) The national phone support line for parents, Parentline, is seeking new volunteers to work three hours a week on their phonelines. Training in counselling and listening skills is provided initially with further monthly training sessions, focused on the topics that arise when listening to parents. The helpline at Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 9, is open Monday to Friday from 10am-9pm and on Friday from 10am-5pm. Email for more details.

9) RTE Radio 1 Extra are currently broadcasting a six-part series on dementia. Currently, 55,000 people are living with the disease in Ireland, with the number expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The radio series features people living with dementia talking about their experiences, as well as the views from experts. Let's Talk Dementia will air on Fridays  (the first episode was on September 14th) at 7am and will be repeated at 1pm.

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson

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