Avondale House and Forest Park is set to host this year’s 10th annual Let’s Walk and Talk event in Wicklow, organised by the IFA in partnership with See Change, Coillte, and Mental Health Ireland in support of the Green Ribbon campaign.
Eleven walks have been organised in venues throughout the country during August, September and October to spread awareness about mental health difficulties by providing people with an opportunity to walk and talk together.
IFA President Tim Cullinan said: “It has been a difficult year for many farmers with increasing demands and rising input costs 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.”
Managing Director at Coillte Mark Carlin added: “The health benefits to both our physical and mental wellness from contact with forests and nature is well established and this initiative aims to encourage everyone to get outdoors and use our forests, trails and recreation parks as a place to focus on improving our mental wellness, a challenge we all face in this increasingly fast paced and hectic world.
“I hope that everyone enjoys a walk in one of the many outstanding forest venues for this event and encourages their friends and family to participate.”
Martin Rogan CEO at Mental Health Ireland welcomed this year’s campaign saying, “taking a moment to talk and listen can help to get things in perspective, reduce isolation and to see new solutions and options. Simply making some time to being a good friend and neighbour can make an extraordinary difference and protects everybody's mental health.”
Barbara Brennan, See Change team leader said, At See Change, we recognise the importance of supporting local communities to talk more openly about mental health.
She added: “You don’t have to be an expert or have all the answers; simply wearing the Green Ribbon shows that you are open to having a conversation about mental health. These walks give farmers and members of rural communities a fantastic space for people to build connections, share knowledge about local support services, and take time out of our busy schedules to enjoy nature, while normalising conversations about mental health.”
The Green Ribbon Let’s Walk and Talk event will take place at Avondale House and Forest Park on Sunday, October 2 from 3p.m. For more information about the campaign visit seechange.ie/green-ribbon.