The Farm Safety Foundation’s mental health awareness drive among farmers features a film showing the harsh realities of the emotional wellbeing issues those in agriculture face.
A farming charity has launched an online campaign this week to raise awareness of the mental health challenges farmers may face.
The Farm Safety Foundation’s annual Mind Your Head campaign is being run to urge farmers to seek support if they are facing emotional wellbeing issues.
Pressures farmers are facing include changing consumer trends around meat consumption, Brexit uncertainty and falling incomes.
The charity’s Manager Stephanie Berkeley said: “There is no point beating about the bush… we are in a mental health crisis.
"Levels of depression are thought to be increasing, stress-related calls to farming charity helplines are increasing and, in 2018, 83 suicides were registered among people working in agricultural and related trades in England and Wales.”
The campaign is taking place across social media platforms and includes a video called The Last Word.
This features a farming couple whose mental health is being affected by financial and other issues.
They are seen arguing and then a tragic accident unfolds due to the mental health challenges they are facing.
It takes less than 2 minutes to watch but think how many times you’ve gone to work with your mind somewhere else... Think about what risks you’re taking & what it could mean for you & those you love. Think about who would fill your boots if you don’t #MindYourHead💛 pic.twitter.com/hh0frX7zbp
— Yellow Wellies (@yellowwelliesuk)>
It takes less than 2 minutes to watch but think how many times you've gone to work with your mind somewhere else... Think about what risks you're taking & what it could mean for you & those you love. Think about who would fill your boots if you don't #MindYourHead\uD83D\uDC9B pic.twitter.com/hh0frX7zbp— Yellow Wellies (@yellowwelliesuk) February 10, 2020
“It is encouraging to see more discussions about mental health, more awareness of the various mental health conditions and more emphasis on the support available to the farming community, however more still needs to be done,” said Berkely.
“Whilst farmers are often culturally ill-equipped to discuss mental health issues, one of the most effective methods in combating stigma is talking about it. This is what we have been doing and will continue to push, especially this Mind Your Head week.
“It is vital to build a culture within agriculture that explicitly recognises how the job can impact on the wellbeing of farmers and their families and conversely how poor mental health can have a direct and deadly impact on the job.
“Let’s be clear, this isn’t someone else’s responsibility, this is on our watch and, in these challenging times, it’s down to each and every one of us to look out for our friends, colleagues, neighbours and ourselves.”