Carlow Nationalist — Support group for bereaved farm families launches mentorship program

Caroline Redmond, Tom Canning, Veronica Morris, Ciaran Austin, Norma Rohan, Aisling Meehan, Eimear Kelly, Catherine Kenneally, Brian Rohan, Angela Hogan and David Leydon launch the Embrace FARM Encircle program, funded by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) , through the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine

By Suzanne Pender

EMBRACE FARM, Ireland’s only support network for people who are bereaved or have survived farming accidents, this week launched a new one-to-one mentoring scheme.

The Embrace Farm Encircle programme, funded by the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) through the Department of Agriculture, will provide individual support to individuals and families following a farm accident, suicide suspected, sudden trauma or fatal illness.

According to findings by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), over 200 farming-related fatalities have been recorded in Ireland over the past ten years and many more accidents, with 113 serious accidents in Ireland alone. 2021.

“As we continue to work to improve farm safety and reduce the number of serious and fatal incidents on Irish farms, it is equally important that families affected by sudden trauma are supported,” Minister Martin Heydon said. .

“Embrace Farm has played a crucial role for many Irish farming families for many years following fatal or life changing incidents. This European Innovation Partnership (EIP), one of eight funded by my department in the field of farmer safety, health and welfare, will allow Embrace Farm to build on this work.

“As we all unfortunately know too well, a farm tragedy can present a range of potential problems for families. That’s why I’m confident that personalized support will be invaluable to those who need it,” said Minister Heydon.

The Encircle program will provide support to farmers and farm families across the country through a national panel of professional mentors encompassing the full range of legal, financial, agricultural and emotional issues facing individuals and families. faced as a result of these sudden situations.

The program was developed by a dedicated operational group, led by Embrace Farm and supported by industry specialists including IFAC, agricultural advocates, the Association of Agricultural Consultants, Rural Support and the National Prevention Office of the HSE’s suicide.

“Our panel of mentors has been carefully selected to address the many complex issues faced by families and individuals who have been impacted by an agricultural accident or suspected suicide,” said Norma Rohan, Chief Executive Officer. and co-founder of Embrace Farm.

“Once someone contacts us, we’ll work with them to determine what they need and in what order of priority, and from there, we’ll connect them with the right professional mentors, who can support them there. where he needs help the most, whether it be legal, emotional, financial or general support for the overall operation of a farming business.”

Since its inception in 2014 by husband and wife team Brian and Norma Rohan, Embrace Farm has supported over 285 farming families following a serious farm accident or death. Having lost Brian’s father, Liam, in a traumatic farm accident in 2012, the Rohans knew from experience that there was a growing need for support in this area.

“There were hundreds of people here over the weekend of the funeral, and then they stopped calling and we were left to run the farm on our own,” Brian recalls.

“There was no mention of dad. People kind of went back to their own lives and forgot about it, so we wanted to find a way to remember our loved ones killed in farming accidents.

“We got calls and emails from other families across the country, and some of them were in worse shape than others, with no wills in place or mortgages on farms, no life insurance and that kind of stuff. We couldn’t just sit idly by,” Brian said.

Embrace Farm will continue to offer its peer support services in conjunction with the Encircle program. His annual ecumenical memorial service takes place in Abbeyleix, Co Laois on Sunday 26th June.

If you or someone near you needs help, Embrace Farm can provide it. please go to www.embracefarm.com or call 057 8510555/085 7709966.

About Keneth T. Graves

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