Tag Archive for: Mental

Turf Tank Brings Mental Health Boost

Turf Tank Brings Mental Health Boost: Initial marking for athletics and other sports used to be a source of anxiety and stress at Dollar Academy, but since using the Turf Tank One, the mindset of the team has been positively transformed.

Situated in the town of Dollar, Central Scotland, the co-educational day and boarding school occupies a 70-acre site at the base of the Ochil Hills. It is there Head of Grounds, John Vaughan-Davis, and his team strive to provide the best surfaces possible for the 1300 children aged 5-18.

Turf Tank Brings Mental Health Boost

Turf Tank Brings Mental Health Boost

A significant part of that task is pitch presentation and line marking. Previously, the job of initial line marking for athletics, in particular, brought a lot of stress to the team, creating a negative environment to work in. But with the Turf Tank robot at their disposal, that’s all changed.

“I think the mental health of our team has improved because of the Turf Tank,” John begins. “Historically, leading up to athletics marking, initial rugby marking, and football initial markings, there’s always been a bit of anxiety, a bit of stress, and it was a really, really anxious environment to be around.

“Now that we’ve got the Turf Tank, it’s completely changed the team’s mindset. It’s gone from being tense to just relaxed and having faith and trust in the Turf Tank. It just eased everyone’s concerns. It’s made a much better working environment for all of us, leading up to those points by removing an added stress and taking it away.

“So mental health is probably one of the biggest benefits that I’m not sure people talk about enough.”

As well as benefitting the existing team, John has also seen an impact when recruiting. In his experience, the use of innovative technology has interested potential candidates and should be used as a tool to attract people into the industry.

By attracting new staff and boosting the morale of the existing team, the Turf Tank is helping John achieve his goals for the site and add finishes like school logos and numbers on rugby pitches, which they couldn’t do without the robot.

“Having pride in what we do reflects across the whole school, and that’s very much at the core of our working process,” John explains.

“We want to try and produce the best pitches that we can in the conditions we are given, and the Turf Tank certainly helps us present the pitches in the best way possible.

“We can’t do a lot of the things that the Turf Tank does by hand. For example, the numbers that we did today, the school badge or a lacrosse pitch at short notice that we can now do within 20 minutes. We’ve marked small football pitches for charity days and other events that we couldn’t have done without the Turf Tank.

“So for us to produce the best pitches we can is one thing, but being able to do things on short notice is another thing that we keep on having to do. The Turf Tank takes all the pressure off of that element of it, but also knowing that when we do put it out, it’s going to do a 100% job.

“It is correct every single time we put that machine out, it’s spot on. Regardless of the event, it is always, always 100% right.”

Dollar Academy Video Interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NC6cGNsO1A

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Join Perennial in creating a culture of mental wellbeing

Join Perennial in creating a culture of mental wellbeing: Since last year, over 55 individuals from 33 companies have successfully qualified as Mental Health First Aiders as part of Perennial’s pilot programme, offering an invaluable first point of contact for those in their workplace that may be struggling.

Trained to have an understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, as well as the practical skills to spot the signs and symptoms, these MHFAiders® are there to step in, reassure and support their colleagues.

Join Perennial in creating a culture of mental wellbeing

Join Perennial in creating a culture of mental wellbeing

However, according to Clare Downs, Head of Preventative Services there is still the opportunity for more employers to step forward and join Perennial in tackling the issues and widening the conversation around mental health.

“We are absolutely delighted that so many different horticultural employees, from grounds maintenance to managers to HR personnel, have become trained MHFAiders® and champions of the importance of health and wellbeing within the workplace and beyond. But we also know from our research and experience that mental health issues remain one of the biggest contributors to ill health within the industry.+ We welcome organisations to join us in continuing to raise awareness, support more staff to be trained and influence the wider horticulture community to help create a culture of positive mental wellbeing for all.”

As one recently trained MHFAider® says, “We are at work a lot of hours each week and probably spend more time with our colleagues than our family and friends. I want all my colleagues to feel they have a safe and open environment to speak to a person, who can listen and not judge – and hopefully help them understand and find the support they need.  Since doing the course, I think it should be mandatory along with physical first aiders within a business.”

If you are an employer with over 30 employees who proactively wants to increase their team’s mental health and wellbeing, please contact Helen Waddington to find out more about this pilot programme at hwaddington@perennial.org.uk.

Free limited places are now available for training courses being held during May, July, October and November 2023.

Perennial’s pilot programme is delivered in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England.

+ Perennial’s Health & Wellbeing Survey (2021) found that mental wellbeing was among the biggest perceived challenges for people working in horticulture.

  • 85% of people’s mental wellbeing was poor or below average
  • 26% of people listed depression, anxiety, and stress as critical issues
  • 22% said they did not recognise when they were unable to cope or how to deal with these circumstance

For the full findings visit perennial.org.uk/survey

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BIGGA’s mental health campaign

BIGGA’s mental health campaign: The British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) has launched a campaign that will see the membership organisation combat a recognised rise in mental health struggles among golf club staff.

BIGGA has pledged to create 100 mental health first aiders during 2023, who will receive training that will give them the skills to support golf greenkeepers and other clubhouse staff through any difficulties they may be experiencing.

BIGGA's mental health campaign

BIGGA’s mental health campaign

Poor mental health is one of the biggest challenges facing society today. A much-quoted fact is that 75% of deaths of men aged 50 and under are due to suicide, making it the biggest cause of death in that age bracket. The greenkeeping industry itself has been rocked by several tragic losses in recent years and in 2021 BIGGA undertook a survey that revealed 80% of greenkeepers had worried about the mental health of a colleague.

Working environments and money concerns are major causes of stress and mental health problems and BIGGA is working alongside golf’s governing bodies to improve governance and working practices at golf clubs. Stronger, more positive and respectful working environments should help relieve some of the undue pressures placed upon staff at present.

To further support those working in the golf industry, BIGGA has launched its campaign to train 100 mental health first aiders across the country. The training course provides the first aiders with knowledge to help them recognise signs or signals that colleagues or friends may be experiencing difficulties and empowers them to direct others towards available help.

The cost of the course is being met by BIGGA with support from The R&A and participants will receive a certificate from Mental Health England. In addition, participants will receive three years’ ongoing training and support from Mental Health England.

The opportunity to get involved is open to BIGGA members, including greenkeepers and trade representatives who spend much of their time on the road, visiting greenkeeping teams.

The first course will be held in February at Edgbaston Golf Club and further events will be hosted around the country, helping to build a national network of mental health first aiders.

The campaign is being led by BIGGA’s Steve Dudley-Brown, himself a former greenkeeper and course manager with 25 years’ experience in the industry.

Steve said: “During my career as a greenkeeper, I experienced several of my colleagues having mental health difficulties. It’s a scary situation knowing that you have someone in front of you and they are upset and afraid. You want to try and support them the best you can. This training course will give people the ability to understand a little more about what the person is going through and point them in the right direction for help.”

For more information or to register an interest, email steven.db@bigga.co.uk

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Support your employees with their mental health

Support your employees with their mental health: Perennial, the charity helping people in horticulture, is calling for organisations to become ambassadors and participate in its Mental Health First Aider training programme. As part of the charity’s health and wellbeing focus the programme aims to put more Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace.

One in four people experience mental health problems which is the biggest contributor to ill health and is consistent with the people who come to us for support.

Support your employees with their mental health

Support your employees with their mental health

Perennial’s Health & Wellbeing Survey (2021) found that mental wellbeing was among the biggest perceived challenges for people working in horticulture. 85% of people’s mental wellbeing was poor or below average and 26% of people listed depression, anxiety, and stress as critical issues. A further 22% said they did not recognise when they were unable to cope or how to deal with these circumstances.

A significant culture change around mental health is needed across the horticultural community. Organisations need to be committed to raising awareness about mental wellbeing and supporting their employees with their mental health. We want people to have an in depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing, the practical skills to spot the signs and symptoms and to have the confidence to step in, reassure and support their colleagues.

We are looking for employers with over 20 employees who proactively want to increase their team’s mental health and wellbeing to join our pilot training programme. Perennial’s training is delivered in partnership with Mental Health First Aid England:

An in-depth understanding of mental health and the factors that can affect wellbeing.

Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of a range of mental health issues.

Confidence to step in, reassure and support a person in distress.

Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.

Knowledge to help someone recover their health by guiding them to further support.

An understanding of how to keep themselves safe while performing their duties.

Resources include – A reference card for the Mental Health First Aid action plan and the Line Managers’ Resource, an invaluable source of advice on how to support an employee experiencing mental ill health.

Places are still available for our next training course on the 30th November to 1st December and we are running courses throughout 2023, to find out more about, please contact Helen Waddington, Email hwaddington@perennial.org.uk.

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Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME: Bayer is celebrating a successful 12-month collaboration with mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) at BTME this year, with a representative from the charity on the Bayer stand for the event’s duration.

Timothy Peeling, Bayer product manager, says that with suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, Bayer is committed to raising the awareness of mental health in the typically male dominated turf and amenity sectors.

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

Bayer raise awareness of mental health at BTME

“Taking the time to listen and understand what people are going through is incredibly important. By listening you could be helping far more than you’ll ever know.

“Attendees at BTME will be able to talk to CALM in confidence, as well as find positive practical solutions to deal with mental wellbeing, which resonate with practically minded people,” he explains.

“I encourage anyone who needs someone to talk to pop by the stand, or alternatively use their online service.” Find out more about CALM here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/.

As well as raising the profile of mental health, the Turf Solutions team will be on hand to talk about all things Harmonix® Tri-Nema.

Colin Mumford, Bayer technical manager, says chafer grub and leatherjacket populations have been on the rise over recent years, with limited solutions to control them.

He explains how Harmonix® Tri-Nema is different to any other nematode solution on the market.

“Harmonix® Tri-Nema offers three different modes of activity in one solution, by utilising a unique blend of three entomopathogenic nematodes, providing a more effective distribution through the soil profile, leading to more consistent results,” he says.

For more information visit the Turf Solutions team in the green zone on stand 338 at BTME, alternatively visit www.environmentalscience.bayer.co.uk, call 00800 1214 9451, or email turfsolutions@bayer.com.

Understanding glyphosate

Register now for our ‘Understanding glyphosate’ seminar at BTME. On the 25 January at 2pm our technical manager Colin Mumford will provide all of the latest updates on glyphosate, regulations surrounding the active, as well as advice on best practice when using it.

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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.

VIDEO Superintendents’ mental health: signs of stress

ONLINE EDUCATION The Mindful Sessions, Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents

FEATURE Golf saved my life

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.

Join the conversation: tell us your experiences, thoughts and suggestions.

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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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