Your Health

In association with Sligo Today

HSE Sligo/Leitrim Hosts Events to Raise Awareness of Eating Disorders

Added: 22/02/17 : 05:49:42

Eating Disorders awareness week is running from the 27th of February to the 5th of March. The aim of this week is raise awareness of Eating Disorders and by doing so encourage more people and their families/guardians to seek the help that they need.

There are approximately 9,925 people on the Island of Ireland who are living with an Eating Disorder.  In Ireland there are 800 to 1000 new cases of Eating Disorders diagnosed each year.

Mary Harron, Eating Disorders Practitioner with Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services stated ‘To coincide with eating disorders awareness week Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Service in collaboration with local colleges, Centre of Nursing and Midwifery Education, Sligo University Hospital and Bodywhys Ireland (The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland) are planning a week long programme of training and workshops for health professionals, student, carers and family members.’

These events include the following:

Monday 27th February - 12 noon – 2pm – St Angela’s College Sligo – Presentation, Service Information & Health Promotion stand.

Wednesday 1st March - 9am – 2pm – Sligo University Hospital – Eating Disorders & Mental Health Promotion stand.

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th March  - 10am – 4pm –Markievicz House, Sligo -  PiLaR (Peer Led Resilience) Family/Carers workshops run by Sligo Mental Health Service and BODYWHYS Ireland.  

This is a two day programme of education and support.  Attendance is free and booking is essential.  Please contact Harriet Parsons, Service Manager BODYWHYS Tel: 01 2834963 e mail:

Ruth a person who has availed of the Eating Disorder Service provided by Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services stated ‘I would like people to know that eating disorders are about so much more than food and weight. My own eating disorder was something I turned to when times were tough. I first developed anorexia at the age of 19 and managed to find recovery at the age of 34. When the disorder is taken away, there is a huge void left in its place. I think it's so important to find something healthy to fill that void.  For me, it was writing and the animals in my life that helped me recover along with support from my family and the eating disorders services in my area. I urge anyone who is suffering to come forward and ask for help. Eating disorders are by nature very secretive so if we can break the silence, that is a huge step in the right direction. I would also like people to know that there is life after an eating disorder and recovery is very possible. I came to the services here in 2011. I was very unwell and utterly hopeless. I saw no future for myself. Now life is something I am excited about and helping others through my story is so important to me. It's a daily battle and recovery never ends but I am in such a better place and I am incredibly grateful for that.’

Referral to the HSE Sligo Leitrim Eating Disorder Service is through your GP. If you or a family member are suffering with an Eating Disorder please contact your GP in the first instance.

HSE offering catch up opportunity for HPV vaccine

Added: 22/02/17 : 05:52:53

The HSE is offering a catch up opportunity for the HPV vaccine in the coming weeks as immunisation teams return to secondary schools to provide the second dose to girls in first year.  
Stressing the importance of ensuring that all those eligible for the vaccine received it, Dr Brenda Corcoran, Head of the HSE Immunisation Office said:  “It is not too late for girls in first year of second level school who missed out on the first dose of the HPV vaccine in September 2016 to get vaccinated with this life saving medicine.   All girls who missed out on their first dose of the HPV vaccine will be offered the vaccine again in March when vaccination teams visits schools around the country.”
Dr Corcoran emphasised that:  “HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer and saves lives.   Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide.  Each year in Ireland around 300 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 90 die from the disease.  Furthermore every year over 6,500 Irish women are diagnosed with precancerous abnormalities of the cervix caused by HPV and need hospital treatment.  All cervical cancers are linked to high risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types.”
All national and international scientific and regulatory bodies recommend HPV vaccine including:
  • World Health Organisation (WH0)
  • Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US
  • European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC)
  • International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FIGO)
  • American Society for Clinical Oncology
  • CervicalCheck in Ireland
The vaccine is already known to reduce cervical cancer developing.  Australia was one of the first countries to introduce HPV vaccine in 2007 and the vaccine has already prevented one in every two cervical cancers and they have seen a decrease of up to 75% in rates of pre cancer of the cervix over the last ten years.  Similar results have been reported from Sweden and Scotland.
Stressing that the vaccine was safe, Dr Corcoran added: “You may have heard stories that the HPV vaccine is unsafe and causes harm.  This is simply untrue.  Over 220,000 girls in Ireland have safely received the HPV vaccine, along with 100 million people worldwide in countries like the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Not one of these people anywhere in the world has been medically proven to have had a long term side effect from getting the vaccine.”
Dr Corcoran emphasised the importance of accessing accurate and scientifically based information for parents and girls.  She noted:  “Please take the time to visit for a wide range of information including videos and fact sheets about the vaccine, how it saves lives and its excellent safety record.  
 “Many parents are genuinely afraid to consent to HPV vaccination because of the stories they have heard about the safety of the vaccine.  Despite the scare stories, there are no ‘alternative facts’ that stand up to even the most basic medical or scientific scrutiny.

“Unfortunately, there are some naturally occurring conditions that can make teenage girls unwell, but WHO and every national regulatory body in the world have said 100% that the HPV vaccine does not cause any of the alleged long term conditions.  In fact, international studies have found that the alleged side effects are just as common in people who have never received the HPV vaccine at all.  The regulatory authorities in the US, the UK, Australia and Ireland report that the overwhelming majority of side effects seen are mild conditions commonly seen when you vaccinate teenagers.”
“Like Ireland, every one of the many countries implementing HPV vaccination programmes is doing so in the best interest of their citizens, to maximise health, prevent disease and prolong life.  Around the world, a failure to implement a HPV vaccination programme is considered to be a withholding of potentially life‐saving preventive treatment.”
For further information please visit: