‘I just wanted to end my own life’ - former sheep shearing champion


"Nobody knew I had any problems,"

‘I just wanted to end my own life’ - former sheep shearing champion

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"Nobody knew I had any problems,"

Health and Well-being for the next generation – A Farm Family event will be held in the Hodson Bay Hotel on February 10th with doors opening at 5.30pm.

Hosted by JobChanger.ie through their Fresh Pastures programme, the evening will be presented by Dancing with the Stars’ Mary Kennedy.

Frank Hynes established JobChanger.ie in 2018 after spending 28 years in Teagasc, working directly as a farm adviser, before serving as an enterprise specialist.

The programme works with farm families and rural dwellers, helping them face head-on the worries of income, poor output prices, worries about Brexit, concerns over succession, isolation and loneliness. The stress associated with these can lead to ill health, both mental and physical.

Fresh Pastures help farm families face the challenges and deal with the stress they encounter on a daily basis.

The event will enable farmers and farm families to stop stressing and get back to getting a good night's sleep helping them be the best they can be so that they enjoy life and enrich the lives of those around them, according to organisers.

Speakers include mindset and fitness coach, Grace O'Rourke, along with farmer George Graham and commentator, author and GP, Dr. Harry Barry.

Grace O’Rourke

Grace O'Rourke is a challenge-seeker, always pushing herself to achieve dreams and goals no matter how impossible they seem.

Whether it be taking on the challenge of starting a new business or going the extra mile during physical training, Grace never gives up once she puts her mind to something. In Grace's recent achievement, completing the RTÉ program Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week, she has discovered a method to conquer challenges.

She has now put together her method to share with others in the hopes that they too will be able to conquer their challenges.

George Graham

George Graham is a former sheep shearing champion from Co. Wexford having won the national title several times. "Depression is an illness and it is no different to any other sickness,” George explained.

"Things happened in my life and I just let them eat away and didn't talk to anyone. I tried to work away, I talked to nobody and covered it up which I did 100%, nobody knew I had any problems," the farmer said.

"I often found myself sitting in the jeep for hours contemplating what I was going to do. It was in my head 24/7, I just wanted to end my own life."

George got himself through ‘the dark tunnel’ by eventually getting the proper help and talking to those closest to him. He now wants to help those in similar situations going through undue stress by sharing his story.

Dr. Harry Barry

Commentator, author and GP, Dr. Harry Barry, will speak about the management of anxiety, depression, emotional resilience, emotional healing and toxic stress for the farming community.

Harry is a GP, who retired from full-time practice in 2014, to focus on assisting those with mental health difficulties. He is the author of eight books on mental health including Anxiety and Panic and Emotional Resilience. His ninth book, Emotional Healing, will be published on April 23rd.

Pressures can be 'overwhelming'

Mr John Donnelly of FBD Trust and former IFA president said; "We are delighted to be sponsoring this innovative conference.”

“The challenges farmers and their families face in today's society can be very daunting and the pressures can be overwhelming.”

“Knowing how to handle these issues and more importantly handling yourself is so important," Donnelly concluded.

More information

Guests will be allowed the opportunity to enjoy refreshments whilst interacting with all the interesting stands who will be showcasing their businesses. Mary Kennedy will open the evening at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased for €20 here or on Eventbrite or by ringing: (091) 428099.

Alternatively, they can be purchased for €25 at the door. For more information, contact Frank on: 087-2832761 or e-mail - info@jobchanger.ie

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