This week (18 - 14th May 2020) is Mental Health Awareness Week. Run every year by the Mental Health Foundation, this year's theme is 'kindness'.
Mental Health Awareness Week has run every year since 2001, promoting the importance of looking after your mental health, as well as signposting help, guidance and resources for caring for your own mental wellbeing, and that of others around you. The Awareness Week has previously focussed on topics such as body image, stress and relationships. This year, in light of the current situation regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, the theme is kindness.
Many members of the farming community already live relatively isolated day-to-day lives, which has only been heightened as the country copes with lockdown and social distancing. That is why now more than ever, it is important to share and appreciate kindness.
Small acts of kindness have been helping many people, both in the farming, rural and wider communities feel closer together over the past few weeks, as neighbours help one another out and communities come together (at a distance) to celebrate the NHS, carers and all those who have gone above and beyond, to lessen the effects on our livelihoods of the global pandemic.
Take the opportunity this week to reach out to family member, friend, neighbour or colleague for a chat and a catch up - it can be beneficial to both of you.
The below list details a number of farming charities, there to provide support for all Covid-19 and 'business as usual' issues:
- Farming Community Network (FCN) - a confidential, national helpline providing practical and pastoral support
- FarmWell - a branch of FCN, a one stop resource to help you and your farm business stay strong and resilient
- Farm Safety Foundation - provide practical advice for on-farm safety, as well as Yellow Wellies' 'Little Book For Minding Your Head', a guide on healthy mental wellbeing for the farming community
- YANA - a farming mental health charity, operating in Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcestershire, also offer a National Directory of local support groups
To find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week, and how you can get involved, visit their website
HSE guidance on discussing the Covid-19 outbreak with your employees, including on how to provide wellbeing support, can be found here
More NFU guidance on mental health support during the Covid-19 outbreak can be found here