Managing Your Greatest Asset: Your Health
Dr Noel Richardson, Lecturer and Director of HealthCORE in IT Carlow, joined Michael Hennessy on the latest episode of the Tillage Edge podcast to speak about farmers’ health and research carried out for the ‘On Feirm Ground’ initiative.
On the podcast, Noel pointed to the fact that farmers need to take better care of their most precious asset: their health. The research with focus groups highlighted the major areas affecting farmer’s health which included; loneliness, feeling left behind, pressure to expand, inheritance issues and many others.
There is a perception that farmers can deal with these issues without help but this attitude appears to be changing slowly. Both male and female farmers and their spouses who were interviewed talked about how farming can be all consuming and feeling guilty about leaving the farm for other non-farming activities.
The researchers also talked to farm advisors and how they were well placed to recognise problems arising on farms. The ‘On Feirm Ground’ initiative aims to train advisors in these skills which will help to recognise and broach these topics with farmers.
Noel stressed that no matter what problem is on the farm the best method of solving the problem is to talk to someone. This could be a spouse, friend, neighbour or advisor. The key is to start a conversation. A problem shared is a problem halved.
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