Farmers invited to attend mental health and well-being event

Farmers have been invited to attend a ‘mental health and well-being for rural communities’ event hosted by the The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in Co. Kilkenny.

Scheduled to be held in the Events Centre at Cillin Hill Mart on Wednesday, May 3, the event was organised by the IOSH Rural Industries Section in Ireland.

A number of industry specialists will give talks, with the event getting underway at 11am, on issues such as mental health, stress, effective time management and financial threats.

Farmers, farm family members, farmer representatives, safety professionals and people living in rural communities are all invited to attend this free event.

Poor mental health affects a person’s ability to cope with and manage their lives, particularly during personal change and life challenges, according to the Irish branch of the IOSH.

People living and working in rural Ireland are more likely to suffer higher levels of loneliness and social exclusion – more so than their urban counterparts.

“Following this event, participants will learn about resilience and gain knowledge and tools to help them develop positive mental health and well-being,” it added.

Speakers at the event

Dr. Jolanta Burke is expected to focus on positive stress and well-being amongst the farming community in Ireland, during her presentation.

A psychologist specialising in positive psychology, Dr. Burke is a senior lecturer and associate programme leader of Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at the University of East London.

For the last three years, she has also collaborated with Trinity College Dublin Business School’s Masters in Management, where she delivers a module on ‘Psychology of Management’.

Meanwhile, Dr. John McNamara, who is the National Health and Safety Specialist with Teagasc, is set to give a talk on the roles of financial threat, social support, anxiety and work stress in farmers’ expectations of injury.

In this role, he continually develops and coordinates the research, training and advisory work of Teagasc in occupational health and safety.

A presentation on ‘Mental Health in Rural Communities: Some things to think about’ will be delivered by Dr. Kimberly Fitzgerald; a chartered psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland and the British Psychological Society.

She is a wellness and health initiatives specialist with over 25 years experience in the field of psychology, with a focus on rehabilitation counselling and occupational wellness.

Jim Dockery, who has been a Training Manager with FRS Training for over 26 years, will speak about effective time management.

Dockery became National Health and Safety Manager in 1999 and is currently Manager of FRS Training. He has a vast farming experience, with a particular interest in promoting farm safety.