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Campaign launched to help public look after physical and mental health

The website issues advice to help people to cope with the coronavirus restrictions.

A new multi-agency campaign aimed to help the Irish public look after their physical and mental health during the Covid-19 crisis has been launched.

The wellbeing initiative, entitled In This Together, encourages people to begin a new hobby to “help them feel healthier and better” throughout the health crisis.

The website issues advice to help people to cope with the coronavirus restrictions.

The campaign will offer regular videos, ideas and activities for people of all ages throughout the emergency over social media.

Launching the campaign, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the emotional impact of social distancing was hurting everyone.

He said: “The impact of Covid-19 has been dramatic and as a country we have come together to protect ourselves and each other.

“We follow the restrictions, are staying at home, working remotely and taking a painful decision to distance ourselves physically from friends and relatives.

“However, the emotional impact of physical distancing is hurting us all.

“We are anxious about the future and sometimes feel guilty when we compare our situation to others.

It's important we stay physically and mentally fit and this campaign is to help us along the wayLeo Varadkar

“We want to help those are lonely and feeling lost.

“Above all we need to look after ourselves. There are three simple things we can do to look after ourselves, stay active and connected to friends and look after your mental health.

“Sometimes we need to be reminded that it is OK to acknowledge what we are feeling. We may feeling lonely but we are not alone in this.”

Mr Varadkar said the Government was launching the campaign to help the public look after each other.

He added: “It’s important we stay physically and mentally fit and this campaign is to help us along the way.”

Minister for Health Simon Harris said that people’s wellbeing goes beyond physical health.

He added: “Now more than ever we need to be there for each other. We need to acknowledge that it’s okay not to feel okay. It would be peculiar to feel great at the moment.

“Many people need a bit more support during this time.

“I am pleased to say that my own department has been working closely with the education department to help students.

“They will focus on a dedicated website to help provide support and regular updates and advice for students to help them prepare for their exams.”

Irish boxer Kellie Harrington said that health and wellbeing comes from within.

She said: “Exercise helps you feel in a better mood. Those good endorphins are released and help you feel good.

“It’s about connecting and staying physically active and that’s exactly what we need to be doing.

“We are in a period where people are quite sad, but we have to find positive in a negative situation.”

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone also said that an online resource with information and support for children and parents has been launched.

The online portal, Let’s Play Ireland, provides additional support for parents and their families.

“My department has worked with key experts and academic experts to develop this resource,” Ms Zappone  said.

“There will be resources to support children with their feelings, health and wellbeing.”

All this information is being made available on gov.ie/Together.

PA