Isolated farmers ‘are at their wits’ end’: ICSA
FARMERS are at their wits’ end as a result of financial pressures, isolation and concerns about rural crime, Seamus Sherlock of the ICSA has claimed.
Speaking at a recent meeting in Skibereeen to tackle rural isolation and associated mental health issues, Mr Sherlock said many farmers were struggling to cope with the fallout from the recent fodder crisis and fears about rural crime.
He urged farmers to reach out for help if they needed it.
“We are on a rescue mission for a lot of farmers who are at their wits’ end. Hopefully we are coming to the end of the most difficult winter many of us can remember,” Mr Sherlock said.
“It’s time now to draw on the positives and look after each other and look to the future together. Many think that their problems are unsolvable but there is hope there.
“Financial and worries about rural crime are the biggest factors that affect mental health. Farmers are stretched to the limit financially.
“A few sunny days would make a big difference as this winter won’t be forgotten.”
Garda Sergeant Edel Burke Curtain, based in west Clare, gave an account of an elderly man who lived alone and who fell in to a mower and bled to death. She reminded people that local gardai are there to help but that people have to reach out.
“I heard of a local garda who stayed with a sick man all night because he couldn’t get a doctor until morning,” she said.
“We are there and we want to help. There is hope there and there is help but you need to look for it yourself as we may not know about you. There’s no embarrassment.”