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Podcast: Southern Trust tips, strategies and advice to quit smoking, help with diet and nutrition

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Covid 19 stopped the world in its tracks and changed life as we knew it.

While we’ve all struggled – to varying degrees – there is support out there in terms of looking after our health.

For this week’s episode of Armagh I’s podcast, proudly sponsored by Blackhill Energy, we speak to some of those who are here to help from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust provides health and social care services across the five council areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne.

This week Armagh I chatted with Valerie Gough and Colette O’Brien, who shared a number of tips, strategies and advice in the areas of smoking cessation and diet and nutrition.

Valerie is a Health Promotion Officer and Stop Smoking Specialist with the Trust and Collette is a Registered Dietician working with the Cook It team, promoting wellbeing, based in St Luke’s Hospital in Armagh.

Collette recognises that lockdown has seen a surge in problems for a lot of people, in terms of weight gain and making the shopping budget stretch. She gives us lots of tips and ideas to help with these problems, and other diet-related issues.

Valerie’s expertise lies in helping people to give up smoking. She too recognises the impact that the pandemic has had on people’s stress levels. While quitting smoking is difficult at the best of times, it’s even more difficult at the moment – while at the same time never being more important, given that Covid-19 is a respiratory disease.

Valerie has some great advice and tips for smoking cessation, from breaking the habit, dealing with cravings, triggers and how to quit for good.

More information on the programmes available can be found on the HSCNI website: or via email: or

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