‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ workshops to return for second year

Rural mental health charity Rural Support has announced the return of its ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ workshops for a second year.

Last year, the charity delivered 19 ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ workshops across Northern Ireland to 300 farmers, farm family members and farmworkers.

The workshops were delivered as part of CAFRE’s Farm Family Key Skills programme and were the first of their kind to be delivered on a widespread basis to farm families across Northern Ireland.

A challenging industry

Rural Support chief executive Veronica Morris said: “Farmers face various challenges in running their farm business whilst balancing life and family commitments.

“This, along with the continuing uncertainty in the sector, can have an impact on emotional and psychological well-being throughout the farming family.

The Coping with the Pressures of Farming workshops encourage participants to think practically about the changes they could make to their lifestyle and business practices to improve their wellbeing as well as developing a better work/life balance through focused self-care activities.

“Participants will also learn how to support friends and neighbours, who may also be experiencing challenges.”

Gillian Reid, farm business support service coordinator, added: “Within the farming community there has traditionally been a stigma surrounding mental health; however, progress is being made and the popularity of these workshops are a key sign of that.

“There is no doubt that Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on farmers and farm families, both in terms of business and mental wellbeing.

“However, Rural Support remains committed to building upon these areas to best support our farmers and farming families now and in the future.”

Helping yourself and others

The free workshops will provide practical support and guidance with the specific aim of helping participants identify stress points, both in themselves and others, and learn how to deal with them.

The training focuses on how to recognise the symptoms of excessive stress, exploring ways to build resilience and develop strong mental wellbeing.

It will also focus on how to access specialist support when it is needed. Participants also learn how to support family, friends and neighbours who may also be struggling with certain issues.

The February workshops will take place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, February 3;
  • Thursday, February 18;

Registration is essential as workshops are limited to 10 farm families and will start at 7:30pm and last for around an hour and a half. Further dates will be arranged.

Private groups can also be arranged by contacting Rural Support directly.

Need help?

If you or someone you know would benefit from speaking to Rural Support, the helpline can be contacted on: 0800-138-1678.

All calls are confidential, and the helpline is available from 9:00am to 9:00pm, Monday to Friday (alternative support options are available at all times).