Out The Gap – Issue 4

Wellbeing and Mental Health

In this issue of Out The Gap, we wanted to focus on something a little different this month but nevertheless is more important than anything for farmers and everyone alike. Workplace Wellbeing Day is a day that is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the importance of employee health and wellbeing and to encourage employers to prioritize employee health and wellbeing in their workplaces. This can include initiatives such as providing healthy food options, promoting regular exercise, offering mental health support and creating a positive work environment that values employee wellbeing. Workplace wellbeing has become increasingly important in recent years as employers recognize that healthy, happy employees are more productive, engaged, and motivated. By prioritizing employee wellbeing, employers can create a more positive work culture, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and ultimately achieve better business outcomes.

Mental health issues can affect one in four people at some point in their lives and have a significant impact on Out The Gap Mental Health Well being employee wellbeing. They are a major cause of long term absence from work. Employers should promote good mental health and provide support for employees who are experiencing mental ill health including anxiety or depression. We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. The World Health Organisation describes mental health as ‘ a state of well-being  in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Globally, 15% of working-age adults were estimated to have a mental disorder in 2019.

On the 28th April 2023, National Workplace Wellbeing Day was celebrated all across the Nation of Ireland and within Grassland Agro. The Company took time out of the day to celebrate by having a tea/coffee morning along with guest speakers, dairy farmer and founder of Make the Moove Charity, Jonathon Dwyer and Clinical Psychologist, Author and Mental Health Advocate, Dr. Eddie Murphy. We encouraged everyone to take part in our Wellbeing Day 5km Walk/ Run/ Cycle and donate through an IDONATE link to the fundraiser for chosen charities The Garry Kelly Cancer Support Centre and Make The Moove.

Make the Moove representative Jonathan Dwyer gave an insightful presentation to our company about the origins of Make the Moove, issues, solutions and simple steps to a healthier life for farmers and rural life. This charity is a farmer led and a farmer driven programme focusing on all aspects of farmers mental health. Make the Moove started their Supportive Open Sessions around North Tipperary by asking two simple questions “What are the issues affecting you at the moment? and what are the potential solutions?”. Two valuable questions that successfully lead to the building of such a programme based around what farmers and rural people wanted. Jonathan also highlighted the significance of potential mental issues in farming and rural life with “23.4% at risk for suicide”, “50% moderate to extreme depression” and “40% moderate to extreme anxiety and stress”. Make the Moove have their own Counsellor at hand to help support people suffering within the farming community nationwide.

Out The Gap Mental Health wellbeing Workplace wellbeing, including mental health, is a significant concern within the farming community. Farmers face a unique set of challenges including long working hours, financial pressures, and isolation, which can have a significant impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Farmers may also face additional stressors such as weather-related events, crop failures and animal health issues, which can exacerbate the mental health challenges they face. Additionally, farmers may have limited access to mental health resources, including mental health professionals and support groups.

Observing Workplace Wellbeing Day in the farming community can help to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and wellbeing and encourage farmers to prioritize their mental health. It can also encourage employers in the farming industry to create supportive work environments that prioritise employee wellbeing and mental health. Initiatives that promote mental health and wellbeing such as providing access to mental health resources and support groups can be particularly important in the farming community. By prioritizing mental health and wellbeing, farmers and other agricultural workers can better manage the challenges they face and build a more resilient and sustainable industry.

Protect yourselves as you are number one.

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