Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has welcomed The Value and Values of Social Farming report by Social Farming Ireland, which shows positive responses and outcomes for participants with mental health challenges.
Speaking after the launch of the report in Naas, Teachta Ward said:
“I was delighted to attend the launch of the report, The Value and Values of Social Farming, by Social Farming Ireland in Naas this week.
“Social farming provides people who use mental health services with the opportunity for inclusion, to increase self-esteem, and to improve health and well-being by taking part in day-to-day farm activities on a family farm.
“One of the reasons I attended was to hear first hand about the benefits of social farming from a mental health perspective.
“The report outlines how 84% of people surveyed felt that participants have experienced improved mental health from their time spent on the farm.
“Listening and talking to participants at the event it was clear that social farming has a key role to play in recovery from mental ill health in a rural setting.
“Increased support from external, non-clinical psychosocial community supports not only benefits the participants and farmers, but could take the pressure off of more acute mental health services.”