Following on the success of last year, Rural Support is once again joining forces with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Farm Families Health Checks Programme to highlight important health and safety issues facing the farming community.
This joint stand will offer a wide range of information and advice for farmers and farming families to help protect the greatest asset in the farm business – the farmer.
Often, farmers do not prioritise their own health and wellbeing. Farmers may be more aquatinted with their local vet as opposed to their GP which speaks volumes about their perception of their overall health and wellbeing. Challenges have always been around and unfortunately they aren’t going away any time soon. Farmers are great at having systems in place to run their business but they also need systems in place to look after themselves. They need to start seeing themselves as the most important and most vital asset on the farm.
Rural Support will focus on the Public Health Agency’s (PHA) ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ campaign. These five steps: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give; are crucial in nurturing positive mental health and wellbeing.
Rural Support Chief Executive, Jude McCann said: ‘The farming community can be susceptible to poor mental health and wellbeing. Farmers very often work alone for long periods of time and with added pressures such as increasing levels of debt and paperwork, animal disease and external factors such as the weather and markets can often lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety. With incorporating these ‘Five Steps to Wellbeing’ into daily lives, the feelings associated with stress and anxiety may be easier to cope with.’
Rural Support will also be providing information on its ongoing services which help to address issues that can cause added pressure for farmers, including:
- stress and anxiety associated with increasing levels of debt
- farming paperwork
- physical and mental health concerns
- changing family circumstances
The Balmoral Show runs from 10th to the 13th May 2017 at Balmoral Park, situated at Maze Long Kesh – off the M1, close to Lisburn. The HSENI/Farm Families Health Checks Programme/Rural Support will be at stand C45. Please call at the Rural Support stand to chat with our volunteers and staff members. Whilst you’re there enter our competition with the chance to win an overnight stay at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle, for you another person with dinner in the Percy French Restaurant, breakfast and use of the spa facilities.
For more information about Rural Support please contact the helpline on: 0845 606 7 607 or visit: www.ruralsupport.org.uk or follow us on Twitter: @RuralSupport