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New measures introduced to tackle suicide hotspots in agriculture

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At the Teagasc Beef 2022 Open House, held Tuesday in Grange, Co. Meath, two new tools for farmers’ mental health and wellbeing were unveiled.

The resources were developed by the Health and Safety Authority’s Farm Safety Partnership working group with support from the Department of Agriculture.

A new guide has been developed to address issues such as getting enough physical activity, healthy eating and managing stress.

A new video was also released on the day detailing the mental health challenges faced by Wexford sheep and cattle farmer George Graham.

The third-generation shearer has represented Ireland at World Championships 11 times and in the clip he explains that the first step, which is to seek help, is the most difficult but most important step on the road to recovery.

“It’s probably the worst place you could ever be. The better way to describe it is like walking through a long, dark, twisting and narrow tunnel. It can be very steep in places,” said George.

“It’s difficult to get through this tunnel on your own, but if you can keep going, you will come through this tunnel, and as you get closer to the end, there is a light, and that light is getting brighter and brighter.”

The Farming Independent asked the minister responsible for agricultural safety how regions of the country where agricultural suicides are widespread could be helped.

“One of the things I wanted to do when I became Minister with responsibility for Agricultural Safety was to use the EIP model, which funds community groups from the ground up,” said Minister of State Martin Heydon.

“I have managed to secure €1.8 million in consecutive budgets to fund eight projects that are now going through the launch process.

“Some of these are based in Cork, where they work on different areas of farmer health and welfare, safety and succession.”

The minister explained that while European Innovation Partnership programs can focus on challenges faced by farmers in one region of the country, the insights and support are applicable at national level.

“The challenges facing farmers are not very different from Ballina to Bunclody and we just need to ensure that the measures we take can be scaled up in time,” Minister Heydon said.

https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/new-measures-to-help-tackle-farm-suicide-hotspots-launched-41820814.html New measures introduced to tackle suicide hotspots in agriculture

Fry Electronics Team

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