As #MindYourHead week gets underway, the NFU has joined the campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues among its members and help farmers recognise the importance of making their mental health and wellbeing a priority.
NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said that while farming is a fantastic sector full of incredible, innovative, resilient people, like any business sector it comes with its challenges.
He said: “Like many business owners, farmers can struggle with stress, worries and anxiety, and with the isolated nature of farming these feelings can often be amplified.
“Dealing with mental health issues can be incredibly difficult but help is at hand. For many people, the first step is recognising when there is a problem and talking to someone about it and, where needed, getting professional help. Thankfully, the farming community has a multitude of strong support networks such as RABI, FCN and YANA. And as a community we can do more to look out for one another and reach out to provide support to our family and friends who might otherwise suffer in silence.
“I would urge anyone struggling to cope with any issue to open up to someone they trust. We can all do more to listen and make time for each other. There are also plenty of ways we can all try and maintain good health and wellbeing – but this must be something that works for us individually.
“I am determined to play my part in #MindYourHead week. For me, this means taking time away from the workplace and away from the business itself. This year I have pledged to spend one hour every week doing something new or different from my usual routine – something that gives me time to myself to recharge or to spend with family and friends. This may not work for everyone; the key is to take that first important step.”