Coillte partner with IFA, See Change and Mental Health Ireland for programme of Green Ribbon outdoor walks
Coillte is proud to partner again with the Irish Farmer’s Association, See Change and Mental Health Ireland for this year’s Green Ribbon programme of walks.
IFA President Tim Cullinan has encouraged families to attend and support the Green Ribbon walks organised by IFA in partnership with See Change, Coillte, and Mental Health Ireland in support of the Green Ribbon campaign next month.
Eleven walks have been organised in venues throughout the country during September as part of the annual Green Ribbon campaign. The campaign aims to spread awareness about all mental health difficulties to help end mental health stigma and discrimination.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said, “It has been a difficult year for many farmers with increasing demands and weather conditions contributing to a lot of additional stress and strain on many farm families. The Green Ribbon walks provide an opportunity for friends, families, and communities to connect”.
IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair Alice Doyle said that this year marks the 11th year that IFA have been involved in the Green Ribbon walks.
“The nature of farming results in many farmers prioritising farm productivity over their own mental health. The Green Ribbon walks provide an opportunity for farmers and rural communities to take time out from their work and socialise with others outdoors.”
This year’s campaign was launched by Mary Butler, Minister of State with Responsibility for Mental Health.
“It is important that there are more conversations to challenge the stigma around mental health, especially in the farming community. Rural isolation and loneliness are real issues, and these walks help to strengthen connections within the wider community.”
Imelda Hurley, CEO Coillte said, “Coillte is proud to continue to support this innovative campaign in partnership with the IFA, See Change and Mental Health Ireland. We know that outdoor activities are good for us, and research has also shown that specifically spending time in forests and nature is good for both our physical and mental health. Coillte is delighted to host a series of walks at our Forest Parks and walking trails across the country to help raise awareness of mental health in Ireland and encourages everyone to get outdoors and involved in this year’s campaign and experience the beautiful surrounds of our many forest venues.”
Carmen Bryce, Communications Manager, at Mental Health Ireland welcomed this year’s campaign saying “We are proud to continue our collaboration with See Change in the 11th year of the Green Ribbon campaign. The campaign is about challenging stigma, supporting new connections and encouraging open conversations about mental health and advocating for a more accepting and inclusive society.”
“Mental Health must always be challenged, and we must learn and evolve together towards a more enlightened and supportive Ireland. The Green Ribbon campaign celebrates the possibilities to do so and highlights the importance of keeping these values at the heart at the work we do for mental health.”
“Barbara Brennan, See Change Programmes Leader said “We are excited to be celebrating 11 years of the Green Ribbon Campaign, and having the Talk and Walks collaboration with Coillte, the IFA and Mental Health Ireland going again this year.
“These walks provide farmers and local communities with a great space to come together and share experiences, learn about local support services, and take time out of our busy lives to connect with nature, all while normalizing conversations about mental health. Remember, you don’t have to have all the answers – simply wearing the Green Ribbon shows that you are open to having a conversation about mental health and gives someone the chance to start that conversation with you.”