SEE Change, Ireland’s national stigma reduction partnership is at the Tullamore Show this Sunday, August 12 to encourage open discussion of mental health problems among the farming community and tackle stigma.
See Change is committed to working closely with Ireland’s farmers after research commissioned by See Change on ‘Public Attitudes Towards Mental Health Problems’ identified that the stigma surrounding mental health problems acts as a significant issue for Irish farmers, often preventing people from seeking the help that they need.
See Change will be distributing their “Let’s Talk” resource for farmers on dealing with the particular pressures of farm life and seeking help and support, produced by in conjunction with the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) which was launched by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, TD and Minister with responsibility for Mental Health Kathleen Lynch TD last November.
See Change campaign director and Tullamore-based John Saunders said; “See Change is here at the Tullamore Show 2012 to send a message loud and clear that mental health is part of everyone’s story. By opening up and talking about mental health at events such as this one, we can break the feeling of isolation and social exclusion that many endure and help challenge the stigma of mental health problems.”
See Change is working closely with the IFA and mental health groups with bases in rural communities to explore ways in which farmers can be supported and this stigma can be addressed. As well as the Tullamore Show, See Change has reached out to the farming community at the National Sheep Sheering Championships in Punchestown last June and plans to have a presence at the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross this September. The IFA are currently hosting a series of national meetings to promote greater awareness of mental health problems and services. See Change is currently acting on its commitment to talk at each of the IFA’s 29 County Executives meetings over the coming months.