For some, experiencing ‘lows’, can be very short lived as we learn to cope, manage and overcome our problems. For others the ‘lows’ can extend for years and require medical intervention.
Many men, especially in the agriculture industry, are not good at seeking medical advice for fear of being stigmatised.
Statistically 25% of males will not reach their 65th birthday, that’s frightening. A change of mind set is needed, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Accepting we have a problem
We need to accept that we have a problem, and I’m as guilty as anyone for avoiding a trip to the GP surgery. When we are ready to accept that we have a problem we are halfway to finding a solution.
We all need to be a bit more aware of our own mental health issues and those of our friends, families, and neighbour’s, especially in our rural communities. Notice mood changes. Are they feeling OK. Ask them.
We all work long hours, I recall being on a zoom meeting in the spring with non-farmers who were working 38-hour weeks, I explained that it is lambing time for farmers, you can put a one in front of the 38 hours.
Tiredness leads to accidents and there lies a factor in the fatality figures on farms. With the long and sometimes isolated hours we work, life can get us down at times, but it hasn’t got to be like that. With a positive mental attitude, no problem is insurmountable.
Help is out there
Confidential help is available through a number of charities.
- Farming Help (call 03000 111 999)
- Farming Community Network (FCN) Helpline (call 03000 111 999)
- The DPJ Foundation
- YANA: You Are Not Alone – Rural Mental Health Support and
- the Samaritans offer 24-hour assistance.
Here in Shropshire, we have SRS (Shropshire Rural Support) who have been helping the rural community for over 30 years and have this year been recognised by being receiving the Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
I have been involved with SRS for some 20 years, working closely the Trading Standards, Animal and Plant Health Agency, British Cattle Movement Service and the Rural Payments Agency.
We have helped people overcome issues from bovine TB to bereavement, from divorce to family disputes or financial problems, and everything in between.
We act as a free befriending service and act as an intermediary between people in need of support and experts who can provide the best help.
With this week marking World Mental Health Day just remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.