‘Be kind to yourself’ farming union president urges farmers

Farmers’ Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts is urging farmers to be kind to themselves, as many are feeling the stress caused by the on-going Coronavirus pandemic.

The call coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from Monday to Sunday, May 18-24. This year’s initiative focuses on kindness.

Roberts said: “These are very difficult times for us all and I know that many will be putting on a brave face, despite being worried, stressed and anxious for a variety of reasons.

I urge you to be kind to yourself – if you feel like the world is crashing down on you, talk about it if you can and try not to put yourself under too much pressure.

“Along with the body, the mind is the best bit of kit a farmer can have. But it is also the hardest to maintain. We must listen to our body as well. It will tell you when you need to slow down and look after yourself.

“The single most effective thing you can do to help yourself to keep the mind healthy, is to talk. Talk about your struggles and about what you are feeling.

“Telling someone what you are going through is one of the biggest steps you can take – you will feel a weight lift off your shoulders.

“Equally, if you notice a family member or friend struggling – speak to them. Give them a call, have a virtual coffee catch-up.

“One thing that we have seen all over the world, is that kindness is prevailing, especially in uncertain times. And amid the fear, there is still our community, support and hope.

“Better days are to come – a storm is usually followed by a rainbow. Be kind to yourself and others and remember – it’s ok not to be ok.”

Time to talk to someone?

Depression is not unusual, affecting one in five people at some point in their lives with those in farming and rural trades particularly susceptible because of the isolation of their workplace.

If now is the time for you to talk to someone, RABI offers support to farmers nationwide and can be contacted on: 0808-281-9490.

Alternatively, YANA (You Are Not Alone) has put together a national directory of services you can use to find friendly ready to listen no matter how big or small your problems may be or which part of the country you are in.

There are also dedicated services for farmers in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Details are listed below:

In Scotland

In Northern Ireland

Time to speak out?

If you been affected by the issues raised in this story and would like to speak with a journalist about how you have overcome them to encourage others to seek support, please contact: [email protected].

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