Wellness Recovery Action Plan launched for farmers

Joe Cronin of the West Cork Development partnership is in the process of introducing a WRAP programme in West Cork. Standing for Wellness Recovery Action Plan, WRAP is a prevention and wellness process used by people to recover and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing. It was developed in the late 90s by a group of people searching for ways to manage their own mental illness and people in many different circumstances now use it to address physical and mental health.

Speaking to the West Cork People, Joe said: “Between work, external stuff or giving time to your family or community, a person could find themselves busy for 70 or more hours a week, yet have no time for themselves. That takes a toll, as some people are always committed to helping everyone else, to the detriment of their own health. That drains their own energy and may have knock on effects over time.”

 This is especially true within the farming community. Given the often isolated nature of farming, particularly around busy times of the year, work can stack up and small problems become bigger, which can sometimes lead to work getting on top of an individual who, as a result, becomes physically and mentally exhausted.   

 In an effort to help, Joe along with Jimeve O’Neill believes the WRAP programme has a part to play and they’re hoping to engage with more farmers now, as the peak work season has eased. 

One of the key elements of WRAP is that people will be able to recognise when they’re not themselves; preventing any issues from getting bigger and learning how to take steps to deal with them.

The course is delivered over two and a half days and, while Joe and Jimeve are there to facilitate and work through a process, it is the participants themselves that dictate how the conversation goes. 

Joe explains: “The group dynamic stimulates the conversation. One person might say something and it triggers somebody else, so it works well. The content is flexible. We go with the flow so to speak. 

“We only facilitate the course as such and it’s up to the participants then, depending on how comfortable they are to talk.”

 He added: “The format of the group session allows people the chance to realise that if they’re in a group you realise that other people feel a similar way to you from time to time, and that they are not alone in the way they feel; but that majority of people may well feel stress or anxiety from time to time

We’re gearing this at people who would have had a mental health issue in the past; it’s a daily maintenance plan on how to maintain oneself. This includes what is known in the programme as a ‘wellness toolbox’. 

The idea of this is to get people to recognise what they’re like when they are happy.”

Throughout the programme participants are enabled to find their own wellness tools that can help in times where they may be required. 

 The course is free and will run for three full days over four weeks throughout the year. 

For further information contact:
Joe Cronin on 086 1717592 or email: joe@wcdp.ie

Jimeve O’Neill.
email: jimeve@wcdp.ie 

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