An online workshop aimed at advising on the potential mental health risks facing farmers as lone workers is being run by the Irish Cooperative Organisation Society (ICOS) Skillnet.

This is being run as part of ICOS initiatives to support farmer members of co-ops as much as possible during the current public health crisis and onwards, the organisation says.

The workshop will outline how to recognise the warning signs of deteriorating mental health and informs on how to access available supports.

It will also advise on how to look after and improve your mental health including the importance of staying connected and managing stress.

ICOS Skillnet has teamed up with safety consultants the Chris Mee Group and the workshop will be delivered by Donal O’Mahony, who has 35 years of professional experience in the delivery of mental health services.

The first workshop takes place next Tuesday, December 8, and will run from 10:30am to 1:00pm in a virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams.

Those interested in participating in the workshop can book a place by emailing: [email protected]

The workshop is offered free of charge to farmer members of co-operatives and is funded 100% by ICOS Skillnet. Further workshops will be arranged depending on uptake, the group says.

Commenting, Billy Goodburn of ICOS Skillnet said: “It’s important to look after the number one most important thing on your farm – and that is yourself.

“The workshop is designed to provide information including practical tips and advice that will be useful to all farmers at any time now or in the future.

“As a cooperative organisation, rooted in the communities in which we operate, we want to provide a helping hand and to assure people that we are all in this together, while encouraging their ongoing resilience and well-being.”