Irish students can now access safe, evidence based and reliable health information instantly at the touch of a button.
An interactive eBook titled "Student Health Matters" produced by the nurse at IT Carlow has been developed into an app, Carlow Live can reveal.
The eBook originally produced by Nurse Theresa Lowry Lehnen for the IT Carlow students has been endorsed by the Irish Student Health Association (ISHA) and developed into an app for 3rd level College students nationwide.
Thomas Drury, president of the Students' Union at IT Carlow, said: "Rather than googling their health questions, which can be unreliable and confusing, college students can now access reliable health information with links to trusted websites all in one place.
"The ISHA is launching the new "Student Health Matters" App and Interactive eBook, to provide 3rd level students with easy, quick and convenient access to reliable and relevant health information, all in one place."
It is hoped that the app will be launched this week or early next week.
The beginning of college marks a transition period for many young people and often represents the exciting – but also challenging - beginning of adult life.
These new resources were developed because many students struggle with looking after their health.
Mental health problems among students for example are increasingly common, and students often do not know where to turn to for further information and support.
Rather than googling their health questions, which can be unreliable and confusing, students can now access trusted health information and links to many useful websites in seconds.
The content, which is regularly updated, is based on Irish healthcare information and services. It has been specially created by a team of health professionals at the Irish Student Health Association and Expert Self Care Ltd, a specialist mobile health information app developer.
The "Student Health Matters" new App and Interactive Health Guide provide students with easy access to information on how to stay healthy during their college years and where to get support when they need it, so they can lead happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives.
The ISHA App and eBook provide:
• Information and advice on healthy lifestyles - including education and health promotion advice on healthy lifestyles, diet, nutrition, exercise, dangers of drugs, alcohol and smoking, and the importance of vaccination and screening
• Health A-Z - links to the HSE database of over 600 medical conditions and treatments
• General health advice - how to spot and manage common physical and mental health problems
• Key information – on sexual health, contraception, my options and consent
• Self-care with confidence - how to recognise and respond to emergencies, and self-care for minor illnesses
• National and local support– useful info and links on where to get medical help and advice, all in one place
• Local support – information, contact details and links to the specific health and medical services available at College Health Centres
Irish student populations continue to grow year-on-year, and so does the demand for student health services in third- level education.
There were 231,710 students in third-level education in Ireland in 2018, and numbers continue to rise.
Student Health Matters was created by the Irish Student Health Association (ISHA), which represents professionals who provide health services for students in third level college health centres throughout the country.
The App is available for iPhone and android and is free to download from the App Store and Google Play. The interactive eBook is available to access from the ISHA website, all College Health Centre websites, the USI and Student Unions.