Public engagement and support

Diseases of lifestyle are the leading causes of death in the modern world. According to the World Health Organisation, heart and lung diseases, cancers and diabetes are the world’s largest killers accounting for an estimated 38 million deaths annually, with 16 million of these being premature. Lifestyle factors are heavily implicated in all these diseases and we as individuals can do a lot to prevent the development of such conditions.

The Centre provides evidence-based resources to help enhance understanding of the critical role that our behaviour plays in optimising our health. In particular, we are very interested in how the mind, brain and body interact in the context of maintaining health and wellness.

The Centre launched an online course on positive health, looking at the role of positive psychological factors and the insights of lifestyle medicine, in autumn 2020.

Schools and youth

Our engagement strategy includes promoting lifelong health and well-being. In 2020, we developed the RCSI Winter School, a 10-week live teaching, online programme. The course contained information on positive psychology basics, growth mindsets, signature character strengths and a full attention-based training programme developed specifically for this age group.

The programme was delivered to 66 transition year students at Ardscoil na Tríonóide and 22 students at Athy College, both in Co. Kildare. In 2021, we will deliver a free online asynchronous course on The Science of Health and Happiness for Youth, aimed at second and third level students. We will continue to ground our work with live online engagement with Athy College.

Resources and publications

Prof. Ciaran O'Boyle and the team from the RCSI Centre for Positive Psychology and Health have created a range of resources – particularly around coping with COVID-19 which are available below.

Prof. O'Boyle has been published in The Irish Times and on thejournal.ie, and has contributed to a number of webinars and RCSI MyHealth lectures.

Dr Pádraic Dunne has also created a number of resources on meditation and well-being, including dealing with the stressful impacts of COVID-19.