Read the latest blogs from the Institute of Public Health.

The blogs provide a range of short-form reads to keep you up to date with latest news, while also providing long-form reads offering insightful analysis.

The blogs are comment and opinion from our staff, and some contributions from public health colleagues and organisations we work with. The opinions expressed by blog authors are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Institute of Public Health.

Climate Change and Public Health: The heat is on for more urgent action in Northern Ireland

In this blog IPH Public Health Development Officer, Dr Jenny Mack, explores the relationship between climate change and public health and outlines the Institute’s recent consultation response on the Northern Ireland Climate Change (No.2) Bill. Jenny graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2013 with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Obstetrics…

Men’s Health – encouraging men to check back in to a healthier future

By Aideen Sheehan, Knowledge Translation Officer If you knew there was a group who died years earlier, were more likely to suffer from heart disease and cancer, and had a much greater risk of dying from suicide, respiratory disease and COVID-19, you’d assume they would be beating down the doors of doctors’ surgeries in a…

Blog: Practical tips for the public engagement aspects of communicating science and health

Its been a year like no other for public engagement with public health science. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that every citizen has had to engage in some way or other with public health advice as well as public health data, research and evidence.  It’s therefore timely that  ‘Communicating Science and Health’ is one of…

Blog: Dying young from respiratory disease – are we making progress on reducing inequalities?

In this blog, Dr Helen McAvoy, Director of Policy at the Institute of Public Health, explores what we know about excess deaths from respiratory disease in socially disadvantaged communities, and asks what can be done to respond. Recent developments on health inequalities on the island of Ireland Earlier this month, the Northern Ireland Assembly Health…

Blog: All for One Health and Health Impact Assessment

In this blog, Ben Cave and Joanna Purdy discuss recent developments from Ireland and Northern Ireland in Health Impact Assessment (HIA). They discuss their role in the Institute of Public Health’s new HIA guidance, they ask how can HIA help adapting to and recovering from COVID-19 and how it links with the broader One Health…

Blog: The Elevate Programme – building community development to tackle health inequalities

Today’s theme for the European Public Health Week is “Your Local Community”.  Joanne Vance, Director of Community Development Health Network (CDHN) talks about the Elevate programme which provides opportunities for the development of skills, knowledge and expertise in community development as a way to tackle health inequalities. CDHN advocates using community development approaches to empower…

Blog: Healthy Brains for a Healthy Population – the road to a brain-healthy lifestyle

Dr Claire McEvoy, Lecturer in Nutrition and Ageing Research and Rebecca Townsend PhD researcher at the Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast advise that it is never too early or never too late to adopt a brain healthy lifestyle! In this blog they highlight ways to slow down cognitive decline and delay or prevent…

Blog: New challenges in mental health – what role for enhanced regulation of gambling?

In this blog, Ciara Reynolds and Joanna Purdy from the Institute of Public Health (IPH) discuss gambling and mental health, effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore the potential public health impact of gambling regulation. Ciara and Joanna are Public Health Development Officers at IPH.  They recently presented evidence to the Northern Ireland All Party Group on Reducing Harm Related to Gambling and submitted views to the consultation on a draft Mental…

Blog: Loneliness a key public health issue for society

Professor Roger O’Sullivan, Director of Ageing Research & Development at IPH, talks about loneliness as a key public health issue. “Public health and social measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought profound changes to everyday life…. many more people have gained personal insight into what it means to be socially isolated, lonely, or both.…

Blog: The impact of COVID-19 on hypertension and priorities in pandemic recovery

On World Hypertension Day, Dr. Diane Bredin discusses the impact of COVID-19 on hypertension and considers priorities in pandemic recovery. Diane is currently working in general practice and completing an internship with the Institute of Public Health as part of her Masters in Public Health at University of Limerick. Hypertension is a major preventable risk…

BLOG: How creative arts can support positive ageing

The longevity dividend of the last century has added decades onto people’s lives through improved public health – better water, air, healthcare, vaccinations, and living and working conditions.   But there is much still to be done to extend the full benefits of a longer, healthier old-age to everyone.  In recent years there has been a focus on the role…

BLOG: Benefits of physical activity for COVID-19 vaccination

Aideen Sheehan from the Institute of Public Health offers some insights on how a little physical activity can boost your immune system for vaccination. Exercise is not just good for the body and soul, it can also help older people reap the full benefits of vaccination.  Regular aerobic exercise in the weeks or months prior to COVID-19…

Blog: The importance of arts for older people’s health and wellbeing

In this blog, Laura McQuade from the Institute of Public Health, explores the role of the arts to support population health. Over the last number of years there has been a growing cognisance of the positive health benefits that arts and creativity programmes can have on society.1 A recent scoping report commissioned by the World…

Blog: Menthol moves on – a milestone to reducing tobacco consumption

In this blog, Olivia O’Brien, discusses a new law banning the sale of menthol tobacco products across Ireland and Northern Ireland.  Olivia is completing an internship with the Institute as part of her Masters in Public Policy at UCD. With a lot of focus on the response to Covid-19, the ban on the sale of…

Blog: Sun hats, sunglasses and sunscreen: covering up for cancer prevention

In this blog, Lauren Rodriguez, Public Health Development Officer with the Institute of Public Health, discusses some of the findings from a new report on children’s sun safety behaviours in Ireland. Skin Cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in Ireland, making it a major public health concern. Nationally, over 11,000 non-melanoma cancers and 1,100 invasive…

Blog: Covid-19, growing old and healthy

It is European Public Health Week and today’s focus is on growing old and growing healthy. Dr Conor Cunningham from the Institute of Public Health provides some practical tips on how we can stay active during this time. Increase in life expectancy represents one of the greatest public health successes of the 20th Century. While…

Blog: Equal health for all

14 May 2020 It is European Public Health Week and today’s focus is on equal health for all. Aideen Sheehan from the Institute of Public Health offers some insights on ageing, equity and health in Ireland and Northern Ireland. We all want to live the longest, healthiest life that we can – to enjoy our…

Blog: Covid-19 and the digital divide

It is European Public Health Week and today’s focus is on technology becoming part of our health systems. As we spend more time online during the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof Roger O’Sullivan from the Institute of Public Health offers some insights on the digital divide in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Covid-19 has changed our lives in so many…

Blog: Active childhoods in an era of social distancing

Wednesday, 29th April 2020   With schools currently closed, Active School Week has been replaced with Active Home Week. Dr Helen McAvoy from the Institute of Public Health explores the challenges and opportunities for empowering children to be physically active during the Covid-19 pandemic.   Physical distancing and physical activity  Globally around 290 million children are not in school due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ireland’s schools closed their…