DAERA Minister Edwin Poots and Health Minister Robin Swann toured the state-of-the-art new Farm Family Health Check Program (FFHCP) vehicle provided by a £95,000 investment from the Fight Against Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) from DAERA.
The FFHCP provides a comprehensive physical and mental health screening and counseling service to farmers visiting the 28 livestock markets in Northern Ireland. The same services are also provided at selected agri-food events and at community events in rural areas.
DAERA Minister Edwin Poots commented: “The farm family health check program continues to go from strength to strength. The FFHCP is a successful example of the effective use of agricultural markets and local community infrastructure to promote and provide a service that is accessible and responsive to the specific health and social welfare needs of the farming community.
The Minister continued: “I am delighted to have been able to support the purchase of the new vehicle for the FFHCP thanks to the budget of the program to combat rural poverty and social isolation (TRPSI) of my ministry. The introduction of the new vehicle will go a long way to ensuring the sustainability of the service for many years to come. »
Minister of Health Robin Swann joined Minister Poots at the Balmoral Show to view the new vehicle and commented: “This innovative and well designed program provides clear evidence of a collaborative partnership between executive departments, health and social welfare trusts, community and voluntary sector. , as well as regional sports organizations are mobilizing for the FFHCP to support farming families, including the most vulnerable and isolated farmers.
“Each health check includes measurements of blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, diabetes risk and an assessment of an individual’s mental health. At the end of the check, the nurse will offer personalized lifestyle advice based on the individual’s needs, which may include being advised to see their GP or referred to other agencies as appropriate.
A client who took advantage of the service commented: “When I attended the FFHCP, a health problem was identified and I was referred to my GP. The checkup saved me from developing a more serious health issue and I will be forever grateful.
Dr Bríd Farrell, Director of Public Health at the Public Health Agency, said: “It is great to see the new Farm Families vehicle in service, ensuring that local service is easily accessible. This program is fully integrated into the rural community and continues to play an important role in supporting emotional and physical health and well-being in rural communities, offering a nurse-led health checkup with personalized health counseling and referral to local support services as needed.
Notes to Editors:
- Photo caption: DAERA Minister Edwin Poots and Minister of Health Robin Swann announce the delivery of a new Farm Family Health Check Program vehicle at the Balmoral Show. Also pictured are Farm Family Health Check staff – forward Christina Faulkner and back LR Helen McCauley, Moyra McMaster and Eileen Irwin.
- The FFHCP is a joint initiative of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in collaboration with the Public Health Agency and implemented by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
- The program is now in its tenth year of service delivery with over 21,000 checkups completed.
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