UK farmers are renowned for the attention they give to their livestock, crops and machinery, it appears they do not have such a good track record when it comes to taking care of themselves and their own wellbeing.
There are a number of mental health risk factors associated with agriculture. Farmers work long hours, often in isolation. They can be under significant financial pressure, often required to take on significant debt to purchase the land and equipment required to operate. And in most cases, a farmer’s place of business is also his or her home, meaning there is no easy way to get away from the workload. In addition, farmers are constantly vulnerable to unusual events and circumstances that can impact their bottom line — from weather and natural disasters to international trade disputes.
Research has revealed that four out of five young farmers (under 40) believe that mental health is the biggest hidden problem facing farmers today. In 2018 a new campaign was launched– Mind Your Head – to raise awareness of this growing issue in the industry and, since then, one thing has become evident; farmer health and wellbeing can not, and should not, be ignored – by any of us.
As an industry, there is a collective responsibility to do something about the issue of poor mental health and the risk of suicide and every one of us has a role to play. Increased understanding, and discussions around mental health will, in time, reduce the discrimination experienced by those who have mental health issues.
Information sourced directly from Yellowwellies.Org
For more information on the great work being done by Yellowwellies.org/Farm Safety Foundation and the Mind Your Head Campaign please use the links below: