Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Therapist Roy Elmes, Hazel Power (IFA), Mervyn Agar (Bagenalstown Tillage Discussion Group, Jannette Kelly (Carlow Mental Health Association and John Nolan chariperson of Carlow IFA Photo: Gilbert Smyth

A WELLBEING event organised by the Bagenalstown Tillage Group and Carlow IFA took place in the Woodford Dolmen Hotel recently.

Called ‘The brighter side of farming’, guest speakers included Carlow farmer and therapists Roy Elmes, who is a counsellor at the Éist Cancer Support Centre, and Jannette Kelly, a volunteer with Carlow Mental Health Association.

The pair offered practical advice and tips, which gave those in attendance a lot to consider, including stresses that can consume a person mentally and how to look at things differently to ease the burden.

The aim of the talk was to highlight the stress and anxiety that some farmers face in their daily lives, in a profession that is becoming more and more a one-man operation, isolated and with no-one to talk to. They often suffer, without anyone noticing they are having a problem, until it could be too late.

The event, which was attended by around 50 people, was open to all, with partners of farmers also present.

Gilbert Smyth from the Bagenalstown Tillage Discussion Group recalled feeling stress from his work, particularly at a time when he farmed by himself.

“I had no real hobby but work,” said Gilbert. He described finding an outlet outside of farming as being hugely beneficial. A man who took photographs on a regular basis, he was cajoled into joining Carlow Photographic Society.

“My mind was in a better place … got me away from what I was doing every day,” he said.

For more information on Carlow Mental Health Association, phone 085 81181353.

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