IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair, Caroline Farrell said that the spread of the coronavirus and restrictions it has imposed and, potentially will impose, is a worry for many farm families.
“It is understandable to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed reading or hearing the news, we are in unchartered waters,” said Mrs. Farrell.
She recommended that if people feel overwhelmed, they should limit their time on social media or listening to the news, and instead go for a walk or just step outside their back door and take a breath.
“Even though it might be difficult right now it is important to look after your mental health. Talking through your worries with someone can help lessen the worry or anxiety,” she said.
“We are all in this together so make the most of your local IFA network to stay in touch and support other farm families in your community.”
She stressed the importance of keeping a realistic perspective of the situation, which is based on the facts.
“Only use trustworthy and reliable sources of news to get updates on the coronavirus, there is a lot of misinformation out there that is adding to people’s anxiety,” she said.
If you need to talk to someone right now, you can free call the Samaritans on 116 123. For more information on looking after your mental health go to www.yourmentalhealth.ie or check out the mental health section on the IFA website.
IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair Caroline Farrell has welcomed changes that mean farmers and other self-employed, if diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19, will be entitled to income support.
IFA President, Joe Healy has written to Minister Jim Daly to request an urgent meeting on the status of the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill.
“The Government approved the proposal to introduce a three-year cap on productive assets where a family member commits to working the asset in July 2018. However, 18 months later we are still waiting for the Bill to be drafted,” said the IFA President.
He said the Bill must be published as a matter of urgency and introduced in the Oireachtas during this session.
Caroline Farrell, Farm Family & Social Affairs Chair said that farm families have been waiting too long for this amendment and with each passing month the viability of family farms is being undermined.
“The Government must give a commitment to back date the proposed three-year cap to July 2018 when it was approved by the Government and agree to pay back contributions to the cost of care to all farmers that satisfy the three-year cap as of that date.”
She said that farm families must not be financially penalised as a result of delays in the legislative drafting process.
Speaking at the launch of the IFA’s Diversity Strategy Towards 2025 today (Tues), IFA President Joe Healy said that the strategy aims to build a platform for change, creating momentum and challenging the status quo to support a more diverse and inclusive organisation.
IFA President Joe Healy said progress on the Fair Deal Scheme is important for farm families who have been waiting nearly five years for the Government to make good on a commitment to remove discrimination against family farms and small business.