Dairygold is to provide a free mental health counselling service to its farmer shareholders and their families.
The service is operated by Vhi and was already available to Dairygold’s employees but is now being opened up to the co-op’s farmer shareholders and their family members.
“The recent increases in the cost of a range of inputs, from fuel to fertiliser, is putting farmers under additional pressure and causing anxiety around managing cashflow,” a Dairygold spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“Dairygold recognises that its member shareholders managing their family farm can often feel isolated, and many could benefit from an opportunity to share their anxieties with someone who could help,” she added.
The co-op said that a successful employee assistance programme operated in conjunction with Vhi since 2020 had proven very helpful for Dairygold staff.
“Dairygold has taken the decision to extend the offering to its member shareholders and their immediate families, who will have free and confidential access to a professional counselling programme operated by Vhi.
“Members can get in touch by phone or email and support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Members can also avail of a face-to-face counselling service locally,” the co-op spokesperson said.
Glanbia Co-op has also launched a free and confidential counselling and information service in partnership with Vhi Corporate Solutions.
The new ‘Support Services for Glanbia Farmer Shareholders’ programme is an information and support initiative available around the clock to help Glanbia shareholders, their families and those working on the farm.
It offers targeted professional help for those struggling with mental health challenges, addictions, financial pressures on farm and bereavement, as well as counselling on relationship and parenting.
Meanwhile, a Teagasc seminar taking place next Monday 16 May will address the issue of farmer wellbeing and mental health.
The seminar will be held in the Teagasc Conference Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15, on Monday 16 May from 2pm to 4pm, as part of the BeSafe Project.