HSA launches health and wellness resources for farmers

Two new resources were launched today (Tuesday July 5) aimed at improving the physical and mental health of farmers.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (FSPAC) task force has developed a health and wellbeing guide and mental health awareness video.

The guide offers advice on the various health issues that affect farmers and their work.

The video highlights the story of a farmer struggling with his mental health and how he reached out and took the first step to ask for the support he needed.

The HSA pointed out that research has shown that farmers are at high risk of:

  • heart disease;
  • Stroke;
  • Overweight/obesity;
  • Lung problems;
  • Back ache;
  • Hearing loss;
  • Skin problems and skin cancers;
  • Stress and mental health issues.

Launching the HSA materials at the 2022 Teagasc Beef Open Day in County Meath, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Trade, Damien English said:

“Farmers often work in isolation, so I encourage everyone to use these resources to help recognize health issues early on and get the help you need from your local GP or healthcare provider.

“My thanks to the HSA Farm Safety Partnership Advisory Committee for developing these helpful resources and for recognizing the importance of promoting better health for farmers and their families,” added the Minister.

In posting the orientation and mental health awareness video, HSA Senior Inspector Pat Griffin commented:

“A farmer’s job is often unpredictable, demanding and can be dangerous.

“We urge farmers to take the time to assess their well-being and put plans in place for how they will respond to their health issues.

“It’s important to take the time to examine your mental and physical health and in some cases a medical condition that arises could significantly increase your risk of a serious agricultural injury or, worse, a fatal accident,” he said. -he advises.

“Remember that the saying ‘Your health is your wealth’ is true in farming,” Griffin added.

FSPAC chairman Ciaran Roche explained that the committee was set up to reduce the number of deaths, serious injuries and ill health in the Irish agricultural sector.

“Last year, we launched our 2021-2024 Farm Safety Action Plan in which we identified five critical areas requiring attention, including health and vulnerable people.

“By providing these tips and the mental health awareness video, we are achieving the goals of the action plan and urging farmers to prioritize their overall health and well-being,” he said. declared.

Both Farmer Health and Wellness – A Guide to Staying Healthy While Farming‘ and mental health awareness video are now available on the HSA website.

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