Is the biggest hidden problem in farming today the question of mental health?
We are encouraging farmers and those living and working in agriculture across the country to start putting their mental health first. We are supporting the fourth annual Mind Your Head campaign (15-19 February) organised by farming charity the Farm Safety Foundation. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness of an issue that few in the industry want to talk about but that affects one in four people in the world at some point in their lives.
According to recent research carried out by the Farm Safety Foundation. 88% of farmers under 40 now rate poor mental health as the biggest hidden problem faced by farmers (an increase from 81% in 2018). The UK-wide survey of 450 young farmers also revealed that 89% believe that talking about the issue will remove the stigma attached to it.
Mental health is an issue that we are hearing more about now, especially after the challenges of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic. We are backing Mind Your Head as Brexit, the weather and the virus are causing levels of stress and anxiety in the industry to rise so there is no better time to focus attention on the physical and mental wellbeing of an industry under pressure. With many of the support networks for farmers being closed as a result of lockdown, we need to stay connected and take notice of those in the farming community , whether family or friends, who may be struggling with their mental health and make an effort to learn more about the issue so we can offer the right support.
“We know the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic may have psychological and social impacts that will last long after the physical symptoms of the virus and therefore we feel that is more important than ever for farmers to Take a Moment and be encouraged to acknowledge the importance of looking after themselves, both physically and mentally, in order to be able to look after their farm and family. The same level of dedication should be given to this as we know they give to looking after their land and livestock, fixing and maintaining equipment and improving their farms.” Lorna Filby CMIOSH Head of Organisational Safety and Wellbeing
For more information on ‘Mind Your Head’ visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter