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SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being

In November 2019 Minister of State Catherine Byrne TD launched the ‘Healthy UL Framework.’ to support students and staff at the University of Limerick in optimising their health and wellbeing. The Healthy UL Framework is UL’s response to the Healthy Ireland initiative and was made possible due to the tireless work and efforts of committees, working groups, stakeholders, colleagues, and students coming together to design a framework that will seek to implement, monitor and evaluate health and wellbeing initiatives across UL for staff, students, and the wider community. Healthy UL Chair, Professor Catherine Woods said: “The Healthy UL Framework adopts a systems approach to ensure health is central to everything we do. We intend to infuse health into the everyday, committed to improving the wellbeing of people, places and the planet for the current and future generations.” In recent years, UL has put in place a broad range of initiatives that support this ethos and will continue to do so through the implementation of this valuable framework.

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University of Limerick is one of only 139 universities and colleges around the world to be honoured by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. “We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and give students the tools to cultivate physical activity habits that will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Robyn Stuhr, Vice President of Exercise Is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

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University of Limerick is an active member of Limerick Sports Partnership. The aim of Limerick Sports Partnership (LSP) is “Getting Limerick Active” and increasing participation in sport. The LSP is an inter-agency and multi-sector organisation established as a limited company with representatives from all the main statutory, community and voluntary fora represented on a dedicated Board of Directors.

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The Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Research Unit at UL’s School of Medicine, formally known as Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), has been designated by the WHO as a Collaborating Centre for Migrants’ Involvement in Health Research. The goal of the Centre is to build capacity for participatory research to involve migrants in health decision-making. Professor Anne MacFarlane, Chair of Primary Healthcare Research at UL, who established the unit in GEMS, said: “Migrants are often excluded from the places where decisions are made about health services, policies and research. This is because they are considered ‘hard to reach,’ perhaps because of language and cultural differences. Just like other population and patient groups, however, migrants need to have a voice in the health decision making. Their perspective on factors that impact positively and negatively on health are vital to identify priorities for researchers, health care providers and policy makers. Our collaboration with the WHO will look at how migrants’ involvement in health decision making can be supported through the development of training and other resources for universities and research partner organisations such as the HSE and NGOs working with migrants”.

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Staff and students from UL Hospitals Group and University of Limerick have flown to Ghana for the final phase of a joint project running since 2017, to establish a pre-hospital emergency care training programme in the remote Upper West region of the African nation. Learning for Lives – Ghana, is a collaborative programme run by UL Hospitals and UL in partnership with the national health service of Ghana. It has provided primary healthcare staff in the Upper West and its capital Wa with crucial life-saving skills that will benefit the almost one-million strong population of the region. Learning for Lives – Ghana is the realisation of a key strategic objective by UL Hospitals Group to establish links with a developing country.

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John Healy, a third year Law and Accounting student, completed an internship with the Red Cross EU Office, as a fellow of the inaugural Iveagh Fellowship programme supported by Saothar and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The fellowship aspires to develop experience in international development or humanitarian aid and European or international policy. The experience has been full circle for John, from a young cadet with Irish Red Cross – the Red Cross EU Office – now returning to work with the Irish Red Cross. John’s time was spent aiding and delivering welcome packs to MEPs in Parliament and promoting Red Cross priorities. He had input into legal projects and reports regarding topics as varied as: sexual violence in disaster and humanitarian contexts; and legal barriers to implementing cash programmes or the sui generis status of Red Cross-National Societies in national provisions to act independently as an auxiliary.

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Student Affairs provides a comprehensive range of professional administrative and support services to the entire university campus.  We do this in a spirit of partnership within the University and wider community to support academic activities and to contribute to the University goal of providing an outstanding and distinctive student experience.

The Student Health Centre is an urgent care/advisory service and deals with all general health issues as they present. Any students with a long-term medical condition which requires regular follow up should register with a local GP, as the Student Health Centre is not a GP service. Our services include access to: doctor (GP), nurse, contraceptive clinic, sexual health clinic and physiotherapy. The Student Health Centre is part of the Student Affairs Division which provides a comprehensive range of professional administrative and support services to the entire university campus. 

UL Éist - Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service is a free and confidential service which is available to all registered UL students. We run a stepped-care model of service which provides low-medium level support within a high-demand environment, tailoring support to the individual. The stepped-care model works by providing the least intensive, yet effective, intervention appropriate to the presenting needs of each individual. Students with high level, intensive needs, chronic difficulties, or entrenched problems can be referred to specialist support services, as determined by their presentation.

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