World Mental Health Day 2019: Farmers urged to ‘take 40 seconds’ to help others

Ahead of World Mental Health Day this Thursday (October 10), the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is reminding farmers that help is available to them if they are suffering from poor mental health, or feeling suicidal.

World Mental Health Day is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health and this year’s Day is supported by WHO, the International Association for Suicide Prevention, and United for Global Mental Health

Close to 800,000 people take their own lives every year; one person every 40 seconds.

Even more worryingly, there are indications that for each adult who dies by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempt to take their own life.

Speaking from his farm in North Wales, FUW president Glyn Roberts said: “These are difficult times we live in. Many farmers and those living in rural communities often find themselves working alone for most of the day or feel isolated.

“There are so many uncertainties, stresses, and worries, putting pressure on us that might leave us feeling that we can no longer cope.

As much as we encourage those not feeling so good to speak up and seek help, sometimes they feel they can’t.

“Sometimes, the last thing they want to do is talk about the things that have them feeling the way they do.

“That’s why it’s important that we come together as a community, family, and friends. Suicides and suicide attempts affect us all in some way. But it is preventable.

“If you notice that a loved one is sad, not quite themselves or withdrawn, reach out to them. Ask them how they are feeling, listen to them, and reassure them that these feelings can be overcome. Together we can make progress in preventing suicides.

“So why not join us, on October 10, in ’40 seconds of action’ to raise awareness of the scale of suicide around the world and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it.”

40 seconds of action

As part of the campaign, the World Health Organisation is encouraging people to take 40 seconds to:

  • Start a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
  • If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
  • If you are an employer, offer staff a positive message about support in the workplace or local community should they encounter times of mental distress.

Organisations that offer help and support include:

  • DPJ Foundation: 0800-587-4262; or if talking on the phone isn’t your thing you can now text if you would like support, text: 07860 048799;
  • Samaritans: 116-123; or Welsh Language Line (Llinell Gymraeg) on: 0808-164-0123;
  • Mind Cymru: 0300-123-3393; or email: [email protected] or text 86463;
  • FCN: 03000-111-999;
  • RABI: 0808-281-9490;
  • Tir Dewi: 0800-121-4722.