A NEW year provides a chance to reflect on the previous 12 months and to think about what we hope to achieve in 2022.
It is an opportunity to start over and make some positive changes, not only in support of the health of the farm business but also the health of the farmer and the farming family.
Veronica Morris, CEO of Rural Support, said: “The farming in-dustry faces many stressing factors, including rising input costs, disease such as Avian Bird Flu and bTB, and farm inspections, with all having to be dealt with while also often working in isolation.
“To handle these sorts of challenges having a high level of mental fitness is essential. This new year we are asking farmers and farming families across Northern Ireland to make increasing their mental fitness a priority and participate in one of our free ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ workshops.”
The Coping with the Pressures of Farming workshops are delivered across Northern Ireland to farmers and farm families and focus on how to recognise the symptoms of excessive stress; exploring ways to build resilience, develop strong mental fitness and learn how to access specialist support. The workshops also encourage participants to identify changes they could make to their lifestyle and/or business practices to im-prove outcomes for both the individual and the farm enterprise.
The impact and experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different for everyone, as has how we have reacted, and it is why it is so important that we do what we can to look after our mental health and wellbeing and look out for others and to reach out if we need support.
Gillian Reid, Head of Farm Support at Rural Support, said: “Talking about our mental health isn’t something which sits easy with farmers, but our Coping with the Pressures of Farming workshops allow individuals to voice their concerns in an open and confidential space and are facilitated by two of our trained professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this area.
“These workshops will increase awareness of signs of stress, how farmers can help themselves and others and what other sources of help are available.
“We at Rural Support understand the challenges and pressures that farming families face and how that can have an impact on their mental health and on their business.
“We encourage all members of the farming family who are aged over 16 years to get involved in our workshops so that they can thrive together and become a stronger, more resilient farming unit.”
Dates and locations of upcoming workshops are:
n Wednesday, January 26 – Loughgall Presbyterian Church Hall, 7.30pm;
n Thursday, February 10 – Ballygowan Presbyterian Church Hall, 7.30pm;
n Monday, March 21 – St Johns Parish Hall, Fivemiletown, 7.30pm;
n Tuesday, March 22 – Ballywillan Presbyterian Church Hall, Portrush, 7.30pm.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions spaces are limited so to register please contact Rural Support’s Farm Support Unit by contacting freephone number 0800 138 1678 or email email@example.com
Places can also be booked via CAFRE’s website www.cafre.ac.uk/business-courses/coping-with-the-pressures-of-farming/ as these workshops are part of the Farm Family Key Skills programme.
For any groups that would like to avail of this free workshop please get in touch with Rural Support.
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