The equestrian community is proud to announce the launch of a historic mental health campaign aimed at raising awareness surrounding mental health issues among equestrians. The campaign, titled “How Are Ya” which is the first of its kind in the equestrian community, aims to break the stigma surrounding mental health by getting people to reach out to one person a week throughout January and asking a simple question, How Are Ya?
The HAY Equestrian Mental Health Campaign is being led by Shane Rooney in Partnership with The Grassroots Gazette and is backed by leading governing bodies, organisations, associations and businesses supporting The HAY Campaign including Horse Sport Ireland, Horse Racing Ireland (Equuip), Showjumping Ireland, Eventing Ireland, Dressage Ireland, The Restricted Trainers Association, The Irish Stable Staff Association, Irish Pony Society, British Horse Society Ireland, The Army Equitation School, and The Irish Field.
“As equestrians, we often focus on the physical well-being of our horses, but we sometimes neglect our own mental health,” said Shane Rooney, who came up with the idea after dealing with his own mental issues. “This campaign is about breaking the silence and letting equestrians know that it’s okay to ask for help and support.” he followed up with.
Monday the 16th of January, is Blue Monday, officially the most depressing day of the year. This will now be the start date for the first ever Equestrian Mental Health Week here in Ireland. There will be live streams and podcasts from mental health and mindset professionals along with mental health advocates and articles from people across the grassroots community.
This campaign is historic, the community is coming together to support one another, and it marks the first time that a coalition of this magnitude of equestrian organisations, has come together to address mental health issues in the industry. “This is a truly historic moment for the equestrian community” said Shane McCarthy the Campaign Organiser. “We hope this campaign will not only help individual equestrians but will inspire all organisations to get the support and frameworks in place needed ensure wellbeing of our people so we can continue the growth of our world renowned equine industry.”
The campaign is open to people of all ages and disciplines within the equine industry. From grooms to happy hackers, from jockeys to stable staff and people competing at all levels and is a resource for anyone who may be struggling with mental health issues related to riding or the equestrian lifestyle.
The “How Are Ya?” campaign hopes to raise awareness, encourage open dialogue, and provide support to anyone who may be struggling with mental health issues within the equestrian community. It encourages everyone to check in with each other and ask “How Are Ya?”
#HowAreYa is the hashtag to use to support the campaign.