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Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues: More than 60% of greenkeepers, PGA Professionals and club managers have experienced increased work-related mental health problems in the past year, a new survey by Syngenta has found.

Of these, nearly two-thirds (64%) said they had felt anxious or worried, 57% said they experienced sleep problems and 43% said they had felt depressed with a continuous low mood.

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues

Three of the 256 respondents admitted thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

The online survey, which was anonymous, also found that only 9% of respondents had sought professional counselling in the previous six months.

And while two-thirds (68%) of respondents said their organization or employer should offer mental health training and support, only 21% confirmed their employer did have a mental health policy or wellbeing program (57% said their organization did not offer support; 22% were unsure) and 12% had received stress or anxiety training at work.

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Mark Birchmore, Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, who commissioned the survey, said: “While this is a snapshot survey, it provides evidence of what we have been hearing anecdotally throughout the pandemic, that mental health problems are prevalent.

“I’m especially worried for the three industry colleagues who reported the most severe symptoms and I would encourage anyone in this situation to urgently seek professional advice.

“For the industry, the survey highlights a potential gap between the prevalence of mental health problems and the level of support available. As an organization, this is something Syngenta is addressing with accredited Mental Health First Aiders within our team, as well supporting important industry initiatives, including the online Mindful Leadership Sessions by the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association.

“But there is more to be done globally, which is why we are sharing the results of the survey with the golf industry, including bodies and associations, with a view to encouraging solutions.”

More than half the survey respondents (52%), from countries including the United States, Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, said they were aware of colleagues who had experienced mental health problems since March 2020.

Of those who completed the survey, 66% were superintendents or greenkeepers, 13% were PGA Professionals or directors of golf and 11% were club managers.

Syngenta has been highlighting mental health issues within its Growing Golf campaign and supported Emotional Health education at the virtual Golf Industry Show, February 2-4.

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Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Syngenta survey assesses mental health: A new online survey commissioned by Syngenta is aiming to assess the mental health of club managers, greenkeepers and PGA Professionals.

After an unprecedented year in which many golf courses experienced extreme disruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there is anecdotal evidence of increased mental health issues among those leading club and course businesses.

Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Syngenta survey assesses mental health

Mark Birchmore, Syngenta Global Head of Marketing, Turf and Landscape, who commissioned the survey, said: “Around the world, golf courses have experienced the extremes of sudden temporary closure to record demand.

“From a management perspective, it has proved exceptionally challenging and for some colleagues in the golf industry, the pressure has taken its toll both professionally and personally.

“This snapshot survey – which is anonymous – aims to indicate the prevalence of mental health issues in the golf industry, the impact on individuals and the availability of support.”

Syngenta has been highlighting mental health issues within its Growing Golf campaign and will be supporting Emotional Health education at the Golf Industry Show, February 2-4, 2021.

The online survey is anonymous and takes a short time to complete.

Results will be published in January 2021.

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YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health: Harrowden Turf is pleased to announce a new partnership with YANA – providers of rural mental health support. Early in 2021 a new Harrowden Turf delivery vehicle will feature YANA branding and will be seen across the country.

YANA provides practical guidance and confidential counselling to those in farming and rural businesses. Farming or working in the countryside is usually a good way of life but it can be a demanding and stressful occupation. Many people involved with agriculture can feel isolated, depressed or unable to cope.

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

YANA and Harrowden Turf support rural mental health

One in five people in the UK will experience poor mental health so Harrowden Turf is working with YANA to emphasise that no-one who works in the rural economy is alone.

Harrowden Turf has adopted the YANA corporate identity one of its trucks which will cover more than 100,000 miles every year. The objective of the partnership is to make more people aware of the support that exists and which is focussed on the rural economy.

Stuart Ridd-Jones – Harrowden Turf Managing Director:

“If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we are stronger together and whilst all businesses have had to adapt to the pandemic those within rural businesses often work alone, can feel alone and struggle to access support services.”

Melinda Raker –YANA Patron:

“YANA is delighted to take to the road in this way. This Harrowden Turf vehicle with our logo and contact details will help to ‘drive’ home the message that there is practical help and advice available to improve rural mental health.”

For more information:

  1. Harrowden Turf and Turfonline Media Office please email marketing@harrowdenturf.co.uk or call 07980 568842

YANA – please email pr@yanahelp.org.uk or visit our website www.yanahelp.org.uk

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Greenkeeper Sets Up Mental Health Support Page

Greenkeeper Sets Up Mental Health Support Page: The head greenkeeper of Hazel Grove Golf Club in Cheshire has set up a successful Facebook page that offers mental health support to greenkeepers in the industry.

Mike Davie created the page after observing “the increase of expectations of the golfer with increased personal abuse aimed at, and stress among, the greenkeeping community”.

Greenkeeper Sets Up Mental Health Support Page

He added that he’s known greenkeepers who have left the industry due to this, and therefore set up the page ‘Greenkeepers mental health support group’ earlier this year.

It already has more than 250 members.

“Mental health issues are more apparent nowadays as more seek medical help,” he said.

“Yet little support is offered from many golf clubs and duty of care is apparently not seen as a necessity.

“One of the problems is that clubs are run by well-meaning volunteers, which means when they need to discipline members for acts against the club’s staff, they don’t want a confrontation with their ‘friends‘ and would rather brush the matter under the table and resolve the issue by providing a polite pat on the head of the greenkeeper. This all creates a feeling of isolation within the industry.

“Any sign of acknowledging a problem by oneself is deemed as thought of being weak, so we tend to bottle it up, causing greater problems.

“In late 2017 I attended a stress awareness seminar by BIGGA at Sale Golf Club and realised that, by the number who had attended, and the fact that many are highly respected within the industry, we had a problem with mental welfare.

“I started a local support group in south Manchester for greenkeepers who wished to attend and talk out their problems. The realisation that we are not alone made a huge difference. The feedback I got was positive so the Facebook page was started in late July.

“This group does not always need people to comment but, as I have been told, the fact there is a page that can be accessed gives strength to someone feeling down.

“A big problem with our industry is that it is a high percentage negative industry. For example, you lie in bed listening to the rain, wondering how the course is affected. Will there be breakdowns, will all the staff turn up? The first thought of seeing a committee member is ‘what’s their complaint?’ and so on.

“These sites help to promote the fact we are not alone and in fact are a strong community we just need to tap in to, build bridges and connect more.

“In the long term I hope that the governing bodies will take on the challenge of promoting, supporting and giving help to the welfare of greenkeepers.”

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