The Health and Vulnerable Persons Working Group of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (FSPAC) at the HSA recognizes the significant pressures and challenges faced by farmers in relation to their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
The FSPAC Working Group have developed two resources to assist farmers in looking after their physical and mental health. The guidance published offers advice on the various health issues that pertain to farmers and their work. The second is a mental health awareness video highlighting the story of a farmer who struggled with his mental health and importantly how he eventually reached out and took the first step to seek the support he needed.
Launching the HSA’s health and wellbeing supports, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD said, “I welcome these new resources and believe the guidance offered gives clear advice on occupational health and safety concerns on the day-to-day work of the farming community and their families.”
The mental health awareness video shows the importance of farmers reaching out and getting the help and support when needed the most. I would like to commend the bravery of those participants involved in highlighting the importance of “Taking that First Step” to reach out. Farmers often work in isolation so I encourage everyone to use these resources to help recognise health problems early on, and to get the help needed from your local GP or healthcare provider. My thanks to the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee at the HSA for developing these useful resources and for recognising the importance of promoting better health for farmers and their families. I look forward to seeing the Partnership’s ongoing in delivering on its latest Farm Safety Action Plan 2021- 2024.”
In publishing the Guidance and Mental Health Awareness video Pat Griffin, Senior Inspector at the HSA said, “the work of a farmer is often unpredictable, demanding and can be hazardous. We are urging farmers to take time to assess their wellbeing and put plans in place on how they will address their health concerns. Taking the time to review your mental and physical health is important and in some cases a health issue that arises could significantly increase your risk of a serious farming injury or worse, a fatal accident. Remember, the saying “Your health is your wealth” is true in farming.”
Ciaran Roche, Chair of the Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (FSPAC) stated that “the FSPAC was established to reduce the level of fatalities, serious injuries and ill health in the agriculture sector in Ireland. Last year we launched our Farm Safety Action Plan 2021-2024 where we identified five critical areas for attention including Health and Vulnerable Persons. In delivering this guidance and the mental health awareness video we are delivering on the objectives of the Action Plan and we urge famers to priorities their health and overall wellbeing.”
Source: Health & Safety Authority