Supporting mental health in rural Ireland

New course designed for farmers and rural dwellers
Supporting mental health in rural Ireland

ICOS Skillnet has launched a new initiative that aims to support and improve mental health among farmers. File Picture.  

A new initiative that supports mental health in the farming community has been launched by ICOS Skillnet, the learning and development division of the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS).

The course covers the various mental health risks that can arise for farmers as lone workers.

It outlines how they can recognise the warning signs of deteriorating mental health, both in themselves and others, and how they can engage with and support neighbours and family who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

The course also highlights the supports available to participants and how they can be accessed, and provides information on how to look after and improve mental health across the board.

Meanwhile, ICOS Skillnet has teamed up with the Chris Mee group - one of the largest providers of health and safety related education and training in Ireland - to deliver the programme.

It will begin with two online workshops in June and delivered by a professional skilled in the area of mental health.

The workshops are designed to provide information including practical tips and advice that will be useful to all farmers at any time now or in the future.

“It is essential to understand that everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives,” said Billy Goodburn of ICOS Skillnet.

“It’s good to know that this is a common experience for very many people and that people are not alone in this, even if their work or career has a solitary element to it, as in farming.

“This programme is about prevention and promoting ongoing good mental health in the farming community."

  • The course is free of charge;
  • A maximum of 10 people can attend the workshops on June 3 and 10; 
  • Workshops take place from 10.30am-1pm;
  • Email or call Breeda Flood on 086 827 7814; Billy Goodburn on 087 126 5542.

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