Farmers urged to take care on World Mental Health Day

Farmers across the UK have been reminded to speak to those around them and to avoid bottling up their feelings today on World Mental Health Day (October 10).

Harrowing figures released earlier this year showed that on average one farmer a week takes their own life in the country.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is among those behind the push.

It’s urging farmers and those living in rural communities across Wales that ‘it’s ok to say’ and not to hide problems from their families and friends and to talk about their personal feelings.

The FUW made a commitment at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show in 2017 to continue raising awareness of mental health problems in rural communities and is, therefore, renewing the call for those who might be suffering from mental health problems to seek help.

Uncertain times adding to stresses

“This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is young people and mental health in a changing world. Our young people are faced with an uncertain future and their world is changing rapidly, which will no doubt cause anxiety and stress to many.

“Their farming businesses are under threat, our export markets post-March 2019 are unclear and any support for the industry has still not been finalised. Add to that the growing problem of bovine TB and you have a recipe for the perfect storm,” said union president Glyn Roberts.

But we must break the stigma attached to mental health, so if you’re feeling vulnerable, stressed, or anxious, please open-up – don’t bottle it up and speak to someone.

“That doesn’t just mean today, but always. Farmers and farming families need to continue talking openly about what they are experiencing.

“The FUW strongly encourages anyone who is worried about their own mental health or a loved one, to seek help from the Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi, The DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru or Call Helpline Wales,” he added.

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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