Health & Wellbeing

Two crucial websites with all the information you need

  1. http://ulster.gaa.ie/health/
  2. http://www.gaa.ie/community/

Poster Launch

Our Health & Wellbeing Ambassadors Peter Treanor, Sharon Courtney and Stephen Gollogly at the Launch of the Health & Well Being Poster

You Are Important To Us in Monaghan GAA!!!

While the GAA will always primarily be known as one of the world’s leading amateur sports organisations, our members and our communities remain at the heart of what we do.

A quick glance at the Association’s mission statement leaves you in no doubt about such ideals; ‘We are dedicated to ensuring that our family of games, and the values we live, enrich the lives of our members, families and the communities we serve.’

To better achieve this the Monaghan Health and Wellbeing Committee is helping the Association  in our County to identify and respond to the health and wellbeing needs of its members, both directly through GAA health-related programmes such as the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) programme, the GAA Social Initiative, the RESPECT Initiative, the ‘Live to Play’ road safety initiative, and the Play in my Boots mental health resource for players and clubs. It will also involve signposting to and partnering with relevant national and local agencies who can provide services that may be of use to our members, such as Samaritans, the GAA’s new mental health partners.

The Health and Wellbeing Committee in Monaghan is chaired by Cathal Hand and has a membership that includes: Louise O Hanlon; Michelle Murphy; Fr. Stephen Joyce; Michael McGinn; Dr Kieran Bourke; Fintan McTiernan; Irene Connolly and John McArdle, County Children’s Officer.

In their work, they receive guidance from the National Health and Wellbeing Committee, chaired by Ciarán McLaughlin, Tír Eoghain, support from the Community and Health team in Croke Park led by Colin Regan and the equivalent section in the Ulster Council led by Aileen Cummins.

Monaghan have recently launched their Health and Wellbeing Poster, targeting all members across all Clubs in the County. The launch of our Poster and other aspects of our work is supported by our three playing Ambassadors in Monaghan – Sharon Courtney, County Footballer; Peter Treanor, County Hurler and Stephen Gollogly , County Footballer.

Monaghan County Committee Drug and Alcohol Policy (revised 24.5.15)

Cumann Lúthchleas Gael are committed as part of their overall philosophy to ‘discourage the misuse of drugs, alcohol and tobacco on the basis that they are incompatible with a healthy approach to sporting activity’

Monaghan County Committee believe that we need to work towards creating a safe and healthy environment where members can develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to cope with drug and alcohol related issues. All County Committee members, officials, coaches, player and volunteers (from hereon known as “members”) shall follow the law when it comes to illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco and shall display leadership and good example, particularly when dealing with underage members. This policy shall apply to all events organised on behalf of the County Committee.

Definition of Drugs:

For the purpose of this policy the term “drug” shall include all mood altering substances, both legal and illegal and involve substances such as:

  • Alcohol, tobacco and prescribed drugs such as antibiotics, inhalers, painkillers etc.
  • Volatile substances such as aerosols, glues, petrol, cigarette lighter fuels etc.
  • Products and substances sold online and in “headshops” that cause intoxication.
  • Performance enhancing drugs as outlined by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
  • Over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol, anti-histamines, cough medicines etc.
  • Controlled drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamines, magic mushrooms, cocaine, etc.

 

Aims and Objectives:

The aim of this policy is to ensure that all members are kept safe from drug-related harm when involved in activities under the jurisdiction of the County Committee.

Our objectives are…

  • To develop a consistent approach to drug-related issues.
  • To develop ways to address drug-related issues at events controlled by the County Committee.
  • To establish clear procedures for managing drug-related incidents.

List of Actions (these are recommended and others can be inserted as required)

The Chairperson and Executive of the County Committee shall adopt and discharge actions from the following list in line with available resources.

Monaghan County Committee shall take the following actions…

  • Cups/trophies shall not be filled with alcohol during celebrations.
  • Coaches/Officials shall not smoke or drink alcohol openly during matches or training sessions.
  • Coaches/Officials shall not bring players under 18 years of age to pubs on the way home from matches, outings or training sessions.
  • Alcohol shall not be served at functions or ceremonies for players under 18 years of age.
  • Alcohol advertisements shall not be permitted on County jerseys.
  • All clubs in the county shall appoint a Club Health and Wellbeing Officer.
  • All clubs in the county shall develop a Club Drug & Alcohol Policy.
  • Post match/training nutrition and hydration for players will be actively promoted among teams to reduce the negative impact of any potential alcohol use by players
  • Members, officials, coaches and volunteers shall not present themselves at activities while under the influence of any drug.
  • Regular reports from the County Health and Wellbeing Officer will be delivered at County Committee
  • Alcohol will not be permitted in changing rooms.
  • Drug education workshops will be organised in association with local professionals.

All persons associated with Monaghan County Committee can help prevent drug-related harm from occurring.

The following roles are recommended (insert other recommendations as required).

 

Coaches

  • Will be aware of the possibility of drug misuse among players and work with the County Health and Wellbing Officer, Chairman and Executives with the aim of preventing harm.

 

County Health and Wellbing Officer

  • The County Health and Wellbing Officer is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of this policy in conjunction with the County Committee Chairperson and Executive.
  • The County Health and Wellbing Officer shall have good knowledge of the local drug, alcohol and health promotion services in order to assist the County Committee in organising drug prevention, education and response activities as such needs arise.
  • The County Health and Wellbing Officer shall arrange education/training for Club Health and Wellbing Officers in conjunction with the National Office at least annually.
  • The County Health and Wellbing Officer is ­­­Cathal Hand Phone no. 087 1473373

County Committee Chairperson (or Nominee)

Notice of relevant information, paraphernalia or suspected substances found or received, shall be forwarded to the County Chairperson who shall consult with the necessary parties before taking relevant action based upon this policy. In the event of the Chairperson not being available to discharge these duties, the responsibility will then automatically fall to the Vice Chairperson, Secretary or other nominated person.

 

Protocol for dealing with drug misuse

Monaghan County Committee shall endeavour to respond to all drug-related incidents in a firm but fair manner, with due respect for the safety and welfare of individuals involved, other members and the wider community and shall also fulfil any legal obligations that might apply.

 

Outline of Restrictions

The misuse or supply of drugs is viewed as unacceptable by Monaghan County Committee and members or officials are prohibited from presenting themselves for County Committee duties while under the influence of a drug. Breaches of these restrictions are punishable by warnings, suspensions and expulsions as deemed appropriate.

 

Reporting of Incidents

Notice of alleged or confirmed incidents in breach of this policy shall be referred to the County Chairperson and the County Health and Wellbing Officer. Matters relating to the misuse or supply of drugs must also be brought to the attention of the National Coordinator in Croke Park, who can give guidance on the appropriate response on a case by case basis.

 

Recording of Information

Information regarding alleged or confirmed incidents in breach of this policy shall be recorded in writing. The recording of factual information is preferable and all opinions shall be stated as such. Responses to cases shall also be recorded in this way. Only in confirmed cases shall names of individuals be recorded.

 

Confidentiality

While it is not possible to guarantee, every effort shall be made to respect confidentiality.

Involving Parents/Guardians

Incidents involving any person under 18 years of age will require their parents/guardians to be informed. Parents/guardians shall be invited to discuss what has happened and shall be informed of any course of action to be taken by the County Committee. The County Committee Chairperson shall nominate a person to inform parents/guardians in each case.

 

 

Garda Síochána/PSNI Involvement

Incidents that involve the illegal supply of drugs shall require Garda Síochána/PSNI involvement. In all other drug-related incidents, each case shall be considered on an individual basis and the decision shall rest with the County Committee Chairperson as to whether or not the Garda Síochána/PSNI are involved.

Search

The County Committee Chairperson retains the right to direct a search of any property under the jurisdiction of the County Committee if there is reasonable cause to believe a substance in breach of this policy is contained therein. Two people shall conduct the search on behalf of the County Committee. Officials are not allowed to search an individual or their personal property. Where there is reasonable cause to believe a person has in their possession a substance in breach of this policy, they shall be asked to volunteer the substance. If they refuse, the Garda Síochána/PSNI may be requested to conduct a search.

Disposing of suspected illegal substances

If a suspected illegal substance is found on a property under the jurisdiction of the County Committee it shall be brought to the attention of the County Committee Chairperson and the County Health and Wellbing Officer. The substance shall be temporarily stored securely and the Chairperson shall then decide whether the Garda Síochána/PSNI should be called to collect it, or whether it should be disposed of. Any disposal of suspected illegal substances shall be recorded and witnessed by two officials. At no time shall a suspected illegal substance be removed from the property without the knowledge of the Garda Síochána/PSNI.

 

Availability, use and storage of solvents and gases

Many solvent based products have the potential to be abused (e.g. deodorants, paints, thinners, cleaning fluids etc).  All solvent based materials and gases shall be stored securely and safely away from public access.

Monitoring and Evaluation

This policy is in force at all times and during all activities conducted under the aegis of Cumann Lúthchleas Gael. This policy shall be evaluated annually and after every drug-related incident. This policy has come into effect since March 2013 and shall be reviewed annually thereafter by the County Health and Wellbing Officer in conjunction with the Chairperson and Executive.

All policies must be approved by the County Committee and the County Officer. Copies of the policies shall be sent to the National Health and Wellbing Office in Croke Park.

Also available below to Download

County Board Drug & Alcohol Policy

Club Health & Wellbeing Officer role description

Position: Club Health & Wellbeing Officer

Role description: The Club Health & Wellbeing Officer will work and liaise with the County Health & Wellbeing Sub-Committee to ensure that their club is availing of the supports, programmes, partnerships, training, and resources available to them.

With the support of their Club Chairperson and Executive, he/she should ensure that their club has a Health & Wellbeing Project team in place[1], that appropriate GAA policies are implemented and monitored, and that the club fosters a culture that promotes health and wellbeing amongst all club members and, where possible, the local community.

Reports / Accountable to: Club Chairperson and Executive

The Health & Wellbeing Officer submits report outlining any activities to each Club executive meeting or in line with timelines agreed with Club Executive.

Addresses Club Executive as and when required.

Responsibilities

  • Liaise with the County Health & Wellbeing Sub-Committee and Club Executive
  • Ensure the club is appropriately represented at training or other events organised through the County Health & Wellbeing Sub-Committee.
  • Promote and support at club level any activities organised by the County Health & Wellbeing Sub-Committee committee.
  • Provide reports, as required, to the Club Executive on plans and activities, including a report for the club AGM on work completed and any plans for the subsequent year.
  • Ensure appropriate policies and activities are implemented at club level
  • Using the resources available ensure that policies such as the Club Drug & Alcohol policy template and the Club Mental Health Charter, are implemented.
  • Promote health activities and partnerships developed at national, provincial, and county level that may benefit club members.
  • Where appropriate or necessary, work with local service providers/agencies/charities who are seeking to make their services available to club members.
  • Work with the club Executive to promote health messages at club games and events.
  • Encourage the club to include the wider community (parents, past players, older men etc) in any health promoting plans or activities.

Skills Required

  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good organisational skills – computer literacy preferable.
  • Ability to offer leadership and guidance to a health and wellbeing project team in the club.
  • Ability to deal discretely with sensitive issues.
  • Ability to work with other club officers (Children’s Officer/Coaching Officer) and the Executive as required.

Knowledge

  • Have sound knowledge of the Association and an interest in health and wellbeing and/or a desire to promote this topic at club level.
  • Believe in the club’s duty of care to the health and wellbeing of its members.
  • Be prepared to attend training as provided by the GAA or its partners.

Other Requirements

  • Have a genuine interest in the Association.
  • Good standing in the community.
  • Have time to do the job.

Recommendations

  • It is recommended that the Club Health & Wellbeing Officer be appointed for a minimum of two years to allow adequate time for policies to be implemented and appropriate training and work to be undertaken.
  • It is highly recommended that additional club members with an interest in the area are engaged as a project team to support the Health & Wellbeing officer’s work.
  • While no professional experience is required for this role, clubs should look to members/volunteers who have an interest in health and wellbeing or possess suitable skills (they may work professionally in a related role, such as the health service, youth work, teaching, etc.) to get involved if possible.

Additional Information and support

  • The Community & Health section in Croke Park, alongside the GAA’s National Health & Wellbeing Committee, will provide direction and support to those working at provincial[2], county, and club level.
  • Training for Club Health & Wellbeing Officers and project team members will be provided at county level each year.
  • Existing resources available include the Club Tobacco, Drug & Alcohol policy, the Club Mental Health charter, the ‘Play in my Boots’ mental health support pack.
  • For more information and to download any of the above resources see gaa.ie/community
    1. In clubs with fewer volunteer numbers it may be more practical for two members to share the role and duties of the Health & Wellbeing Officer.
    2. The Ulster Council has a dedicated Community, Health & Wellbeing section to offer support to this work in the nine counties in the province.


Dick Clerkin

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