Health Board: Upcoming conferences, talks, campaigns and events

Knitting show taking place at RDS, conference on eating disorders and more

1) Organisers of the Knitting and Stitching Show are promoting the mindful qualities of crafting in advance of the show at the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin, from November 8th-11th. "We are all living increasingly busy lives so taking time out to enjoy some crafting is a great way to be mindful. It can help reduce stress, it's a great way to connect with people and have a positive impact on our brains as it forces us to slow down and be present in the moment, says psychotherapist Roisin Whelan who has partnered with the show this year. Attendants can also go to the "Mindfulness Hangout" to work on their own textile project and get ideas and tips from other crafters.

2) The environmental anti-litter campaign, Leave No Trace Ireland, is asking schools to swap the desks for the outdoors one day in November as part of Outdoor Classroom Day 2018. The international initiative aims to inspire children to spend more time every day enjoying the outdoor life, taking in fresh air, participating in fun exercise and discovering the world that lies just outside the home and school gates. This November's campaign will centre on the benefit of risky play and learning in school grounds and outdoor spaces. Maura Lyons, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, says, "We know that outdoor learning and play is crucial to a child's development, health and wellbeing: it increases social skills, imagination, engagement with learning, concentration and behaviour, whilst giving children the opportunity to connect with nature and get away from the computer screen."

3) The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre will hold a conference on the role of arts in dementia care on Thursday, November 15th, in the National Gallery, Dublin. Entitled "One Thursday at the Gallery", its speakers will discuss music, theatre and art in the morning and Azure workshops (a programme dedicated to making art galleries and museums dementia inclusive) and virtual reality, and a silent disco will be held in the afternoon. The event will be of interest to people with dementia and their families, arts professionals, health and social care professionals, psychologists, clinicians, research fellows and students. Booking on

4) Food for Thought: Eating Disorders in a Modern Society is the theme of St Patrick's mental health service's annual Founder's Day Conference on November 30th at St Patrick's University Hospital. Held with Bodywhys, the plenary lecture will be delivered by Prof Janet Treasure, a psychiatrist who specialises in eating disorders at King's College, London. Tickets on


5) Psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick will give a free public talk entitled Resilience in the Real World in the Clayton Whites Hotel, Wexford on Wednesday, November 7th at 6.30pm. She will speak about ways to cope with difficult situations in such a way that you can bounce back and engage with life again. The annual Psychological Society of Ireland conference will be held in the same venue from November 7-10. Booking for the free talk and more information at

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson

Sylvia Thompson, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about health, heritage and the environment