Ex-world sheep shearing champion to share mental health struggle

Former world sheep shearing champion and mental health advocate George Graham will share the story of his struggle with mental illness at a meeting hosted by the South East Women in Farming group.

The gathering, which will discuss mental health and building resilience, will be held in the Millrace Hotel, Bunclody, Co. Wexford, on Tuesday, June 13.

It will run from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, with registration at 7:15pm.

In a past interview with AgriLand, Graham, from Gorey, Co. Wexford, said: “I’d often sit in the jeep for hours. I just wanted to end my life.”

He spoke of visiting counsellors and clergy without his family’s knowledge, and that after an intervention by his doctor, who organised a meeting with a suicide support team, things began to improve.

Graham emphasised that the most important thing was to start talking and, at the meeting, he will recall how seeking help and opening up about his illness has brought about positive changes in his life.

The organisers of the meeting said: “Minding our mental health may not be high on our list of priorities but it is part of who we are.

It influences many aspects of our lives, including our relationships and our work, while also helping us to cope with the demands of life.

Margaret Hoctor, from Kilmullen Farm in Co. Wicklow, will also share her journey on bouncing back from adversity. 

It took her from her position as Senior Director at Lansdowne Market Research to being made redundant, establishing the Kilmullen Farm brand, and becoming a life coach.

Hoctor has many tips on building resilience and getting back on track, based on her own experience. She will discuss what she has learned on her journey, which will be the key focus of her story.

Using an interactive and fun workshop format, Hoctor will show attendees how to break old beliefs that may be holding them back. She will also use the wheel of life tool to encourage those present to reflect on the balance in their lives and to identify one step to help them to move forward.

It promises to be a thought-provoking and worthwhile event and all are welcome to attend. Admission is €5.