Health Week ran from the 11th to the 14th of October. A different aspect of health was promoted each day with the main focus being on physical, sexual and mental health.
This is the first year that the campaign was concentrated in one week. This was done to “set the platform of the three areas I work within,” according to Ahearn, and to “start the themes for what’s coming for the rest of the year”. SU shops also had free fruit available throughout the week in conjunction with this scheme.
Monday was Sexual Health Day, featuring an information stand promoting safe sex run by the Marie Stopes Centre, as well as a performance by a sexual health magician. Nearly 2,500 condoms were given out throughout the day and the STI screening service, secured last year, was also advertised.
On Tuesday, Cooks Academy prepared a variety of meals that could be made on a €10 budget. This was an interactive event, which allowed the spectators to sample the food upon completion. A Healthy Cooking Competition was launched the same day, along with the UCD Health Promotions Committee who are sponsoring the competition.
Wednesday saw a focus on physical health. The charity collection for the Irish Heart Foundation was organised around campus. An information stand in the Student Centre was set up to make students aware of what exactly their food is made of. A Skipathon was set up outside the library, promoting Ahearn’s idea for the day that “you do feel a little bit better with a little bit of exercise and it’s good for your mental health.”
The week finished off with a Duvet Day, as a part of Thursday’s focus on mental health. The Blue Room in the Student Centre was filled with sleeping bags and duvets, with DVDs playing throughout the day, and board games were made available for public use courtesy of UCD’s GameSoc. The free counselling service in the Student Health Centre was brought to students’ attention, with Ahearn explaining how “talking is a positive thing for students to take on”.
Ahearn was extremely pleased with the progress of the week and with the amount of turnout to the different events that were staged.