IFA President Joe Healy has encouraged farm families to attend and support ‘Let’s Talk and Walk’ forest walks organised by IFA in partnership with See Change, Coillte, and Mental Health Ireland in support of the Green Ribbon campaign this month.
Walks have been organised in venues throughout the country during May, which is Green Ribbon month – a month dedicated to encouraging people in Ireland to End Mental Health Stigma.
IFA President Joe Healy said: “This has been a particularly tough year for many farm families, the uncertainty of Brexit and continued high input costs and low prices have contributed to a lot of additional stress and strain on many farm families. It is hoped that the walks will provide an opportunity for friends, families and communities to connect while being mindful of their own and others’ mental health and wellbeing”.
Jim Daly, Minister of State with Responsibility for Mental Health welcomed the initiative, commenting: “We know that individuals who often work alone – like farmers – are identified as a priority group within our national strategy to reduce suicide, Connecting for Life. People working in this area can often feel isolated and may not be aware of how to access supports. These walks will help to strengthen connections within the farming and wider community, while sharing knowledge about what supports and services can maintain positive mental health”.
Let’s Talk and Walk will take place in the following locations: Ards Forest Park, Co. Donegal; Rossmore Forest Park, Co. Monaghan (Sunday, May 12th); Galway Wind Park, Oughterard, Co. Galway (Thursday, May 16th); Emo Forest, Co. Laois; Doneraile Park, Co. Cork (both on Sunday, May 19th); Fore Valley, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath (Sunday, May 26th).