GCCN News 2020
7th October 

Welcome to this edition of GCCN Network News.
Below we have information on:

GCCN Network News

Events and Initiatives
  • See Change Launch Their 8th Green Ribbon Campaign - read here
  • Plan to Make Galway City an Official National Park - read here
  • STAND Student Festival | Online Events | 12th-24th October 2020 - read here
  • Resilience: Rethinking Communities in a Post-COVID World - read here
Funding Opportunities
  • Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund Small Grants Scheme 2020 - read here
Webinars and Courses
  • Online Stress Control Programme: October and November 2020 - read here
  • WRDATF Essentials for Supporting People Online/Phone: 12th & 15th October - read here
  • See Change Green Ribbon Workshop: 13th October  - read here

COVID-19 Related Updates

  • COVID-19 Restrictions – Return to Phase 3 - read here
  • Galway City Council Level 3 Service Updates - read here
  • Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support: 7th October - read here
  • Pocket Guide to Returning to the Workplace - read here
  • How's Your Head| Young Voices During COVID-19 Report - read here
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults during COVID-19| Public Awareness Campaign - read here
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline - read here
  • Reminder: Support for the Older People - read here

GCCN Network News
Events and Initiatives
See Change Launch Their 8th Green Ribbon Campaign

See Change have launched their 8th Green Ribbon Campaign online and it will run throughout the month of October.
See Change is an alliance of 90 organisations working together to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
The Green Ribbon is an international symbol of mental health awareness. The overarching theme for this year’s campaign is discrimination, with a focus on the language of mental health stigma, how stigma feels, where stigma occurs and what we can do to reduce it. 
You can support to promote key Green Ribbon campaign messages through social media over the following weeks using the resources below:

Plan to Make Galway City an Official National Park
Galway City Tribune Article

The drive to achieve ‘National Park City’ status for Galway City will be stepped up a notch this month when the campaign is officially launched by a cross-sectoral group of ‘champions’ who have thrown their weight behind the project.

Led by veteran environmental activist and GCCN member Brendan Smith, Galway National Park City has already received the backing of President Michael D. Higgins who will serve as Patron, as local groups and organisations strive to make Galway a world-leading city in its commitment to protecting the natural environment.

The mission is to have Galway recognised as a city dedicated to sustainability, where citizens benefit from and are strongly connected to nature.
Read more here.

STAND Student Festival
12th-24th October 2020

This year’s STAND STUDENT FESTIVAL theme is ‘climate migration’.
Over two weeks from 12th to 24th October 2020, STAND are inviting third level students across Ireland to join us for a series of free online events that will raise awareness on communities across the world who are forced to flee their homelands due to climate change.
See further details at the link:

The online Conversation with Emma Dabiri; Author, Academic & Broadcaster, part of the STAND festival, will take place on Wednesday, 21 October 2020 from 1pm – 2pm. 

Emma Dabiri is an Irish-Nigerian author, academic, and broadcaster. Her debut book, Don't Touch My Hair, was first published in 2019. With Saoirse McHugh as host, attendees of this event will get the opportunity to hear Emma discuss the systemic problems faced by minority communities that render them more susceptible to the harsh consequences of the rapidly changing climate.
To register - go here.

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Resilience: Rethinking Communities in a Post-COVID World
14th October 2020

As part of Engineers Ireland Resilience Webinar Series, Katie Burns, Director of Operations at Mobility Mojo will offer a webinar entitled "Accessibility, What’s it worth? The Compelling Business Case for Universal Design".
In this webinar, we will discuss the countless opportunities we are missing when we don’t provide inclusive environments for all levels of needs. Katie will share the work that Mobility Mojo is doing in accessible tourism, present the compelling business case for universal design and discuss how we can apply inclusive thinking to enhance everything we do.
In the Resilience Webinar Series each of the speaker's themes and work is aligned with one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) showing how their work is accelerating the attainment of other SDGs. Katie Burns' webinar is linked to the primary SDG: Reduced Inequalities.

Recordings of previous webinars are available here.

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Funding Opportunities

Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund

Small Grants Scheme 2020

Galway City Council through the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) invites applications for funding from interested local community, voluntary and sporting organisations under the newly established Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund Small Grants Scheme 2020.

Healthy Ireland is a government-led initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of everyone living in Ireland. Now in its 3rd year, the ‘Healthy Ireland Fund’ provides funding to local organisations to deliver actions which will improve health and wellbeing in line with Healthy Ireland, A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013 – 2025.

The Grant Scheme is available to local community, voluntary and sporting organisations within the Galway City administrative area to deliver on actions or projects which are in line with the Mental Health theme of Heathy Ireland Round 3.

Actions or projects must correspond with the eligibility requirements of Healthy Ireland Mental Health theme and below are some indicative examples:

  • Wellbeing activities
  • Creative arts programmes
  • Play programmes / Infant and children’s mental health initiatives
  • Family support projects
  • Educational initiatives / Mental Health training through partnerships

The Scheme offers small grants for projects with a minimum spend of €2,000 and up to a maximum of €5,000 per project.
Applications can be completed online and guidelines are available to view at

The closing date for applications under the Healthy Ireland Community Mental Health Fund Small Grants Scheme 2020 is 5pm on Friday 6th November 2020.
Applications will not be considered after this date.

The Community Mental Health Fund Small Grants Scheme will be advertised in the Galway Advertiser on October 8th. 

Webinars and Courses
Online Stress Control Programme
October and November 2020

Please see below the details of the availability of the Stress Control Online Programme for the next two months (October & November) on
The October timetable kicked off on Monday 6th and the sessions are available for 48 hours after the first broadcast.

Essentials for Supporting People Online/Phone
12th and 15th October

Due to a number of queries, the Western Region Drug and Alcohol Task Force are now running other two sessions of their training on Essentials for Supporting People Online/Phone.
The course runs from 10am to 12pm on October 12th and October 15th.

Details and booking form are available at the following link:

See Change Green Ribbon Workshop
Tuesday, 13th October 

The theme for this year’s Green Ribbon campaign is Discrimination, with a particular focus on the language of mental health stigma.
Connecting for Life Galway, Mayo and Roscommon in partnership with See Change invite you to an online workshop on Zoom on Tuesday the 13th October at 10 am with See Change Ambassador – Miriam Dowling.
Please read here further information on the area of Stigma which will be discussed at the Workshop.
To book a place please email

Book in advance, numbers are limited. 

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COVID-19 Related Updates

 COVID-19 Restrictions – Return to Phase 3
From 6th to 27th October 2020

Following a governmental decision, from midnight 6th October, all Irish counties were placed on Level 3 under the Plan for Living with Covid-19, for a period of 3 weeks until midnight on 27th October 2020, at which point the situation will be reviewed by the Government, based on the status of the virus and public health advice. 

Placing all counties at Level 3 has the following implications:

  • Visitors to private homes and gardens should be limited to a maximum number of 6 from one other household.
  • No social/family gatherings should take place, with exemptions to this for weddings and funerals (see below).
  • No organised indoor gatherings should take place. Organised outdoor gatherings are permitted, up to a maximum of 15 people.
  • People should remain in their county (i.e. they must not leave to travel either domestically or internationally), with the exception of those who must travel for work, education and other essential purposes.
  • People are asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary.
  • Schools, Early Learning and Childcare services should remain open.
  • Adult and Higher Education Institutions should remain open but are asked to review protective measures and take steps to limit congregation as much as possible.
  • You are asked to walk or cycle where possible so that public transport is available for use by essential workers and for essential work only.

Over 70s & Medically Vulnerable

  • Those aged over 70 and the medically vulnerable are advised to continue to exercise personal judgement.
  • It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time while remaining physically distanced.
  • It is recommended that they stay at home as much as possible, limit engagement to a very small network for short periods of time while remaining physically distanced.
  • When taking exercise outdoors, it is important to maintain 2 metres distance from others and wash hands on returning home.
  • It is recommended to shop during designated hours only while wearing a face covering, and to avoid public transport.

Business and Services

  • All retail shops and shopping centres may remain open. All services such as hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, opticians etc. may remain open with strict adherence to sectoral guidance on protective measures.
  • All outdoor playgrounds, play areas, parks remain open.
  • Gyms/leisure centres, swimming pools may remain open for individual use only and with protective measures.
  • Hotels, Guesthouses and B&Bs may remain open, but with services limited to residents.
  • Restaurants and Cafes (including bars/pubs serving food/wet pubs) may remain open for take-away and delivery and outdoor dining/service to an absolute maximum of 15 people. Wet pubs in Dublin remain closed.
  • Libraries will be available for e-services and call and collect.
  • All indoor museums, galleries, cinemas and other cultural attractions should close.
  • Religious services will move online, though places of worship may remain open for private prayer.


  • No matches or other sporting events should take place, with the exception of professional, elite, inter-county and senior club championship – all to take place behind closed doors.
  • Horse racing may continue, but behind closed doors.
  • Non-contact training activities can continue in the outdoors and in pods of up to 15, with certain exemptions (see below).
  • Indoor training should be confined to individuals only and no classes are to take place.

For further details visit the government website here.

Galway City Council Level 3 Service Updates

Customer Services
The Galway City Council Customer Service team is in place at 091 536400 between 9am and 5pm. Please call if you have an issue. Our out-of-hours emergency service remains in place outside those hours.
The Galway City Council Customer Service counter at City Hall is open from 9.30am – 1pm daily (Monday – Friday), for queries that cannot be dealt with over the phone. Entry to City Hall will be limited to conform with social distancing requirements.
The Housing Office is operating on an appointment only basis. If you wish to make an appointment, please call 091 894370 or email
Appointments to visit the Planning Office should be made by telephone at 091 536599 or by email to

Museums, Leisure Facilities, Theatres and Libraries
Galway City Museum will be closed to the public until further notice. Visitors can still explore the museum virtually at
Leisureland is still operating public sessions in both pools and gym during level 3, in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Please book on 091 521455 . In regards to Leisureland’s event hall, Children’s dance classes along with some other groups have been cancelled. According to Level 3 restrictions, there will be no exercise or dance classes. For further updates see
All events at the Town Hall and Black Box Theatre for the next three weeks will be cancelled or rescheduled. Also, some events beyond 27 October may be cancelled or rescheduled. Full refunds will apply to customers when an event is cancelled. For details, please email or call 091 569777 Mon-Fri, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.
Galway City library buildings will close but will be available for e-services and call and collect.
Community Centres are closed for all events including religious services.
All pitches and courts and MUGAs are closed for matches but are available for non- contact training to a maximum of 15 persons in a pod.
The Claddagh Basin area will remain closed until further notice.

Funerals and Cemeteries
In line with Level 3 Guidelines, funerals will be restricted to 25 mourners.
For further information please discuss with the undertaker.
Covid-19 Restart Grant Plus
The deadline for applications has been extended to 31st October.
More information available from and

For further details visit the Galway City Council website - here.

Message from Covid-19 Stakeholder Communications Support
Wednesday, 7th October

Dear Colleague,
Thank you for your continuing support in helping to share information about COVID-19. Below are a few communications updates for you. 
Public Health Measures
All counties in Ireland are moving to Level 3 of the Plan for Living with COVID-19.
Extra measures and supports are in place in Donegal and Dublin.
You can download a graphic of all of the levels here of the Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.
COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Webinar: Guidance for Staff in Mental Healthcare Services  
This webinar will take place on Friday, 9th October from 12-1pm.
You can pre-register for the webinar on this link.
Irish dial-in number: 01 5260058
Access code: 163 954 7886
If you would like to raise a question on infection prevention and control for your service, please email your question to in advance.
Dementia and COVID-19
Recent months have been especially difficult for people living with dementia and their families. With many staying at home due to COVID-19 and services changing to help protect people from the virus, many people with dementia are missing out on social connections and activities so vital for wellbeing.
To get Ireland talking about dementia and to better understand how we can offer support we’ll be taking the conversation to 10 local radio stations over the next three weeks. You can find more information on dementia and actions we can all take to support people living with dementia here.
Guidance for Drug and Alcohol Support Groups and Treatment Programmes: COVID-19
New guidance for drug and alcohol support groups and treatment programmes and other addiction treatment services has been published today in line with Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19. This new guidance has been developed to ensure that these groups can operate safely, including at levels 3 and 4 of the government framework. The guidance is available here.
HSE Webinar: The Role of Advocacy in Supporting Decision-Making, Particularly During COVID-19
This webinar will take place on Thursday, 8th October from 11am-1pm.
You can pre-register for the webinar on this link.
Irish dial-in number: 01 526 0058 
Access code: 137 631 4962
Launch of Healthy Eating Guidelines and Vit D for 1-4-year-olds
The new National Healthy Eating Guidelines for one to four-year-olds aim to help parents establish good eating habits in their children. As we face into winter and the daily challenges that COVID-19 poses, feeding our children and indeed ourselves healthily will help our overall physical and mental health.
Developed by nutrition experts in Ireland and based on international evidence, the guidelines include a newly designed children’s food pyramid which will help people understand what their child should be eating, what portion sizes look like and how seldom treats should be given. They also include new advice for parents on Vitamin D for children aged one to four.
There is a suite of resources including the food pyramid for children, meal plans, etc available online to download here. Parents can also find information at or
Quitting Smoking and COVID-19
Research shows that those who smoke are more susceptible to all types of respiratory infections. This coming winter season it is more important than ever that we protect ourselves from flu and coronavirus. Just like flu, a coronavirus infection may be more severe in people who smoke. The good news is that quitting smoking helps build up your natural resistance to all types of infections including coronavirus.
That’s why, this October, which is Quit Month, we have launched a campaign to encourage people who smoke to quit by taking 28-day stop smoking challenge. You will see and hear Quit ads on TV, social media and on the radio for the month of October. We would we grateful if you could share information about the campaign with your networks and share our messages on your social media channels if appropriate. The HSE’s Quit Service is on-hand to give lots of practical support.
Get in touch with the Quit Service today.
Twitter: @HSEQuitTeam                   
Instagram: hse_quit
Hashtag: #QuitandWin #TheLastStop
HSE and Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77
COVID-19 restrictions have changed the traditional ways we mark our grief. This means many people are facing bereavement in isolation. Many people have experienced and will experience the death of someone they love during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the face of such loss, the Irish Hospice Foundation Bereavement Support Line, in partnership with the HSE, has been launched to provide connection, comfort and support in these exceptional times.
You can help by using these resources and graphics in workplaces and communities to raise awareness about IHF Bereavement Support Line, and by emailing your colleagues and networks with the details – Bereavement Support line 1800 80 70 77 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, and linking to
You can also share on your Social Media accounts using the #CareinGrief
Twitter @irishhospice @HSELive
Instagram @irishhospicefoundation @irishhealthservice
National Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th October) - COVID-19 and Breastfeeding
It’s National Breastfeeding Week 2020. This year the theme is supports for breastfeeding during a pandemic. The 'Ask Our Breastfeeding Expert' service on the HSE's has seen an increase of 57% in queries over recent months. The team of lactation consultants provides advice to parents by message and live chat.
You can find out more here
Webinars on different breastfeeding topics are taking place over the coming week for healthcare professionals, breastfeeding supporters and families. You can access the details here
Breastmilk has anti-infective and anti-inflammatory factors which helps babies to fight infections. There is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through breastmilk. Breastfeeding is encouraged as normal. Advice on breastfeeding if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 is available here.
Public Health Information
As always, for the most up to date information and advice on Coronavirus, please go to: Clinical and professional guidance relating to COVID-19 is available on where you’ll find up to date guidance for healthcare settings and non-clinical settings.
Please also check here for the most up to date partner resources for COVID-19.
You can view the latest information on how Ireland is responding to cases of COVID-19 here.
Many thanks,
COVID-19 Stakeholder Communications
Pocket Guide to Returning to the Workplace
Mental Health Ireland & SeeChange 
Mental Health Ireland and SeeChange have co-produced a pocket guide to support people returning to the workplace. A New Reality – Living with Covid-19: A Pocket Guide to Returning to the Workplace also includes tips to help you manage your family and home life.
Hard copies of this resource are available from Mental Health Ireland.
Please click on the following link for further information:
How's Your Head
Young Voices During COVID-19 Report
On Monday 5th October 2020 the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman T.D formally launched the "How's Your Head", Young Voices During COVID-19 Report which involved a national consultation with 2,173 young people in Ireland on mental health and wellbeing conducted by on behalf of the Department of Children & Youth Affairs.
The report has found that the Covid-19 pandemic has had negative effects on young people’s health and wellbeing, especially amongst marginalised groups.
A copy of the report is available here.
Read more here.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults during COVID-19
Public Awareness Campaign
5th-17th October

Safeguarding Ireland’s Public Awareness Campaign on ‘Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults during COVID-19’ has commenced on the 5th of October and will continue during the next two weeks.
The findings show that around one-in-eight adults have experienced abuse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women (especially younger women) are more likely to have ever experienced abuse than men. There is also a higher incidence amongst lower social class groups, the unemployed and those that are widowed/divorced /separated. Of those that have ever experienced abuse, one quarter have experienced emotional abuse since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key campaign content can be found at the links below:

Galway City Community Call Helpline remains available from 9.00am - 5.00pm, seven days a week, for those who are cocooning or may be vulnerable and need help getting access to essential supplies.
☎️ 1800 400 150

Support for the Older People in the Coming Months
With the winter months approaching, we would like to share once again some of the main helplines for older people to access, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 alert.
  • Galway City COVID-19 Community Call Helpline: 1800 400 150
  • COPE Galway Helpline: 085  87 67 785
  • Alone Helpline: 0818 222 024
  • Senior Line: 1800 804 591
We highly encourage you to share these numbers with any older person you know.

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