Walks focus on farmer wellbeing

Charles Burke, Coillte, Barbara Brennan, See Change coordinator, Minister of State Jim Daly, IFA President Joe Healy, Jill O'Herlihy, Mental Health Ireland, and Caroline Farrell, IFA, at the launch of the 'Let’s Talk and Walk' series as part of the national Green Ribbon campaign.

Farm families are invited to attend a series of nine free forest walks in support of the Green Ribbon campaign to raise mental health awareness during May.

The ‘Let’s Talk and Walk’ forest walks are organised by IFA in partnership with See Change, Coillte, and Mental Health Ireland. The walks will aim to encourage people to end mental health stigma.

IFA president, Joe Healy, said: “The uncertainty of Brexit and continued high input costs and low prices have added stress and strain on farm families. 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.”

The series begins this Sunday in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co Tipperary (2pm), Kilrush Forest, Clare (12pm), and Avondale Forest Park, Co Wicklow (3pm).

Walks are also planned in Ards Forest Park, Co Donegal; Rossmore Forest Park, Co Monaghan; Galway Wind Park, Oughterard, Co Galway; Emo Forest, Co Laois; Doneraile Park, Co Cork; and Fore Valley, Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.

Minister of State with Responsibility for Mental Health, Jim Daly, said people working in farming 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,” said Mr Daly.

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