The HAY Campaign gathers the support of Irelands most prominent equestrian body.
“With Equestrian Mental Health Week being launched on Monday with the ‘HAY, How Are Ya’ campaign, HSI felt that we could provide this information in one place all together.
As we spoke about earlier in the week, it is particularly important to us as the governing body to be proactive on mental health supports.
We are committed to that and will continue to engage with the equestrian community through our website, social media platforms and initiatives such as the One Good Coach course.
HSI places huge importance on this subject and we are delighted to be supporting campaigns like ‘HAY, How Are Ya’ – we will continue to collaborate and promote awareness around mental health and wellbeing supports.”- Ian Gaughran, on behalf of HSI.
This show of support from arguably one of the most influential equestrian bodies is something we all could have only dreamt of. We are endlessly grateful for the support we have received this far. This campaign is something that undoubtedly will be larger than us all, and rightfully so. It is something so simple yet so overlooked. I am so excited to see what this campaign will lead to in the future and am delighted that there is now more awareness surrounding mental health. This awareness needs to be carried through every day, of every week, of every year, not just equestrian mental health week.
“With the launch of the HAY campaign, the support of such highly respected equestrian bodies such as HSI is such a wonderful and particularly necessary addition. This is the kind of support which will help to bring the HAY campaign to new heights. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness around mental health in the equestrian industry and the support we have received not only from HSI but from every person who has shared the message on social media or picked up the phone to ask a friend “HAY, How are You?” is hugely important in the growth of this campaign. In order to help as many people as we can, we need to reach as many people as we can. Every like, share, repost, comment and phone call made has a significant impact and could be the difference between someone struggling and suffering in silence and somebody reaching out to get help.” – Aoife O’Donoghue.
HSI does a fabulous job of directing their viewers to helplines such as jigsaw and pieta house among a plethora of others. I personally find this immensely helpful as there is so many different organisations which cater to different things, and it can be overwhelming not knowing who to reach out to. The HSI website breaks this down by naming the charity or support system, the age the support line is aimed towards and what the support line specialises in, in a beautifully straightforward and easily digested way. This is vital because bite sized, easy to access and easy to take in information is crucial when somebody finds themselves in a vulnerable position.
“It is great to have support from Ireland’s leading representative bodies for the HAY “How Are Ya”. Horse Sport Ireland have supported this campaign since before it launched and have been leading the way with backing.
Another particularly unique and innovative idea set up by HSI is the “One good coach course.” The one good coach course is a system which I think is particularly necessary and useful. Instilling the ability to coach youths not only physically but mentally is a hugely Important skill, and this course is one that I feel should be implemented as a necessary addition to every course which awards qualifications in equine coaching. It is hugely important for youths to progress physically but, in my opinion, it is arguably more important that they develop mental skills surrounding equestrianism, as at the end of the day if our heads and hearts are not in our sport, how can we be expected to achieve?
Reach out, ask for help. Supports available on the HSI Website.
Remember that the bravest, strongest thing you can do is reach out and ask for help.
Be the change.