What our Grassroots Writers think about the HAY Campaign

We can all agree that the HAY Campaign is nothing short of revolutionary. It is a totally fresh minded approach to creating awareness surrounding mental health in the hopes of abolishing the stigma which clouds mental health, but how do The Grassroots writers feel about this campaign?

“I thought it was lovely to see people from all walks of life…pony club, to champ jockey to mere mortals, all get behind a common goal to raise mental health awareness.” – Oonagh O’Brien.

I totally agree with Oonagh and personally I believe that one of the things that has made this campaign so unique and drew people in is the diversity of the people who are involved with it. Age, status and so on are of no relevance, and everybody’s support is equally necessary and appreciated.

“I think the hay campaign is extremely important to highlight mental health in the equine industry and destigmatise reaching out for help.”- Heather Lemmon Kiely.

“The HAY Campaign has the capacity to create real change in an industry, where mental health problems are a daily occurrence, and mental health is still a taboo subject. We as an industry and a community need to come together to prevent more loss, more pain, and more heartache at the hands of this mental health crisis.” – Sarah Campbell Co-Founder of Equitas.

This campaign really does have the means to change the course of somebody’s life, which is precisely why we must all get behind this campaign and support it.

“The importance of the HAY Campaign can be viewed across the equine industry and others afar, highlighting and creating awareness of mental health. As we collaborate to bring the aim of such a significant campaign to the forefront, we encourage everyone to express how they are, reach out and speak up, asking someone, how are ya?” – Aoife Brady Grassroots Gazette Project Manager.

“As equestrians we often put our animal’s health above our own, both physically and mentally, the HAY Campaign has shone a spotlight on how important it is to look after not only our own mental health, but others close to us in the industry. Perfectly timed during the toughest time of the year for the industry.”- Chrissy Hawkins from Strong in the Saddle.

I really love this quote because of its astute simplicity. Every equestrian has put their own health or feelings on the back burner in favour of their horse’s needs. We as equestrians should not have to decide between one or the other. We should be able to have the luxury of prioritising both our horses and ourselves.

“The HAY Campaign was the idea of grassroots gazette writer Shane Rooney. He contacted me in late December to say he was having a tough time and he would like to do something in January for mental health. I asked him the simple question, is this for you or do you want to be the change for the whole industry? He chose the latter.

That led on to us deciding to collaborate and launch an equestrian mental health month and design a brand for the HAY How are ya campaign. Once Shane informed me about the third Monday in January being known as blue Monday and what it stood for turned the tables and pitched him the idea of launching Irelands first ever Equestrian Mental Health week, turning a negative into a positive. We agreed on a plan and got to work with our grassroots management team and my co-founders at our partner company Equitas.

For us here at the grassroots gazette, it is simple. We want to be the change. We will continue to focus on being a positive media force within the industry trying to mordernise and improve the industry starting with grassroots. If we can help one person this month, it has been worth it.” – Shane McCarthy CEO of The Grassroots Gazette and Equitas said.

This quote to me is nothing short of inspirational. How a simple idea was constructed for this nationwide campaign baffles me completely and utterly.

“I cannot believe the traction that has come with the campaign. In the pits of darkness came a thought that brought an idea and shone a light with the campaign’s launch. This will not sink in fully until the month ends. I cannot honestly believe the support this has gotten.” Said Shane Rooney who came up with the #HAYHowAreYa Campaign idea.

The support which this campaign has received is surreal and I too cannot fathom the sheer number of views, shares, reposts and tags which are all in support of the wonderful HAY Campaign.

The positivity which simply oozes from this campaign is truly inspiring. As a community and an industry, we have been in such dire need of change such as this, and now this campaign has been founded I think we owe it to every Equestrian to support it full force. This campaign could quite literally change somebody’s life.

Follow the HAY ‘How Are Ya’ Campaign : @hay.campaign


What our Grassroots Writers think about the HAY Campaign

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