Hundreds of milk trucks to promote Ireland’s new rural mental health campaign

Ireland’s dairy industry has partnered with Samaritans to promote a new rural mental health campaign.

The charity’s helpline will be featured in milk trucks across the country to raise awareness among farmers and rural Irish people about the importance of finding support. help.

The new partnership with dairy processors, all members of Ibec Dairy Industry Ireland (DII), aims to help those who live or work in isolation.

Signs with the toll-free number 116 123 will appear on about 500 dairy and feed trucks.

The co-founder of Ag Mental Health Week shared about his own mental health struggles to show others in rural areas that support is possible.

Peter Hynes, a dairy farmer in Co Cork, and his wife Paula founded Ag Mental Health Week in 2020 to reduce stigma around mental health in farming communities.

“Farming is a demanding and arduous profession for some people. Making sure we highlight the importance of accessing support in times of crisis is critical, and the best way to reduce stigma about mental health and suicide is through a unified voice. most,” he said.

“The scale of this message and the partnership between Irish Samaritans and the Irish dairy industry is truly inspiring, ensuring rural Ireland knows there is someone ready to listen.”

The Samaritans deputy regional director said the initiative would target hard-to-reach groups, who are often most at risk of loneliness and isolation.

Aileen Spitere says these people may have family, work or financial concerns, have mental health problems or want to commit suicide.

“We are delighted to have the support of dairy cooperatives or this campaign, to reach not only dairy farmers but also anyone who lives, works or drives,” she said. In rural areas our helpline number is visible on the vehicle.

“We want everyone to know that the Samaritans are here for anyone struggling to cope, whoever you are or where you are, by toll free 116 123 or email

“The challenges of mental health and suicide are complex, not simply where you live or what you do, but these can also be factors. Rising risk factors for people living in rural and agricultural areas such as poor access to services, isolation and persistent loneliness mean more needs to be done to reach them. people in these environments. ”

The campaign was launched at Mr and Mrs Hynes’ dairy farm in Aherla, Co Cork, by Agriculture Secretary Martin Heydon.

“Farmers are under a lot of work pressure and often find themselves working long hours alone. This can lead to isolation and mental health issues that are a real concern for so many people living in rural Ireland,” said Mr Heydon.

“I am determined to focus more on the mental health and well-being of farmers as it is closely linked with farm safety. This initiative can make a real difference in reaching those most in need, and I want to commend the leadership of all involved. ”

Samaritans volunteers answer more than half a million calls for help each year.

The campaign is supported by Arrabawn, Aurivo, Carbery, Dairygold, Glanbia, Kerry, Lakeland, North Cork, Ornua (Kerrygold) and Tipperary. Hundreds of milk trucks to promote Ireland’s new rural mental health campaign

Fry Electronics Team

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