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Syngenta survey reveals mental health issues prevalent for golf industry workers

Growing Golf
08.02.2021
Greenkeepers operate without adequate mental health support

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.

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 employer should offer mental health training and support, only 21% confirmed their employer did have a mental health policy or wellbeing program and just12% had received stress or anxiety training at work.

Mental health in greenkeeping issues

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.

Join in the Hicure Run Club for activity to beat stress

“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." he urged.

“For the industry, the survey highlights a potential gap between the prevalence of mental health problems and the level of support available." 

“But there is more to be done, 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.”

See what to look out for in signs of stress among greenkeepers, with mental health counselor, Lisa Goatley 

Mental health issues video

More than half the survey respondents (52%), 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 golf 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.

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‘Syngenta Growing Golf,’ is focused on the long-term business sustainability of golf courses, along with the economic opportunity to increase female participation, worth a potential £25 billion a year to the global golf industry. For more information and to sign up for news and feature content relating to increasing participation, visit Syngenta Golf: www.syngentagolf.com

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