FARMERS VULNERABLE TO MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA
Posted by Alan Kelly on June 21, 2010 at 03:39 PM
I am calling for a greater support system to be made available to farmers after a new study found that 57% of Irish farmers surveyed would not want others to know if they had a mental health problem
The results were found in the ‘Public Attitudes Towards Mental Health Problems’ survey, commissioned for the new mental health stigma and discrimination reduction campaign, See Change.
These figures indicate there is a still a very real stigma attached to mental health issues among Irish males and in particular those working in the agriculture sector.
For too long, Irish men have been afraid to discuss mental health, choosing to keep it behind closed doors.
With 42% of farmers willing to hide diagnosis of a mental health problem from friends, it shows a real problem with Irish male perceptions on the issue of mental health.
Young men must be informed in an open and honest way about the importance of being able to discuss all aspects of their wellbeing.
The issue of stigma surrounding mental health among young males and farmers must be forced onto the national agenda.
The process of accessing a mental health professional can often be a daunting and lengthy process so we must ensure people are able to get assistance in a timely and approachable way.
The issue of mental health has touched almost every family in Ireland and I welcome to efforts by the See Change’s campaign to ensure it no longer is viewed as a taboo subject.