Farmers urged to talk about their mental health struggles

Farmers urged to talk about their mental health struggles
Farmers urged to talk about their mental health struggles

Farmers are being urged to open up about their mental health after a report revealed the strain they face.

Spiralling prices, environmental strain and uncertainty round Brexit has led to psychological issues, the Farm Security Basis (FSF) says.

It says it has resulted in an increase in risk-taking behaviours and accidents.

Up to 94% of UK farmers underneath 40 say mental health is among the largest hidden issues they face day-to-day, the FSF report reveals.

It comes after Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) figures confirmed that in 2021 alone, 36 farmers throughout the UK took their personal lives and 22 died in accidents.

Ben Cooper, who runs a farm together with his dad in Easton Royal, Wiltshire says it may be a really isolating job.

“You possibly can spend a whole lot of hours on tractors by your self or with animals by your self and that may be very unhealthy to your mental health,” mentioned Mr Cooper.

“Its positively difficult – farming is among the solely industries the place there are such a lot of issues you’ve gotten to suppose about each day.

“There are such a lot of issues that may lead to uncertainly and that may be a big trigger of tension.”

In an effort to encourage folks to talk, fellow farmer Chris Manley organised an occasion known as Stroll With Me for Worldwide Males’s Day, final November.

Mr Manley added the excessive proportion of males working within the trade means there may be additionally the added strain of “masculinity.”

“We wish to present we’re sturdy, we would like to present you that we are able to push ahead,” he mentioned.

‘Nice vulnerability’

Mr Manley added that much less folks engaged on farms these days has lead to isolation, contributing to poor mental health.

The FSF launched the Thoughts Your Head marketing campaign in 2018 to draw consideration to critical issues and uncertainty going through the farming trade within the wake of Brexit.

This 12 months’s occasion, held final month, aimed to remind folks dwelling and dealing within the trade to take care of their mental health.

Drawing on his personal mental health experiences, Mr Manley mentioned: “It concerned quite a lot of vulnerability for me to put my story on the market on social media.”

However, in consequence, he mentioned he needed to encourage different folks not to be afraid to search remedy and converse to a GP about remedy, in the event that they really feel they want it.

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