Learning how to both become and build resilience is a big deal when it comes to bettering mental health and well-being, the Resilient Farmers Conference was told.
Speaking about his own 10-year experience with mental health and depression at the Farm Safety Foundation’s conference last week (May 21), Harper Adams University student Jonathan Glen said the key to understanding and adopting resilience was by getting to grips with ‘our mental health and holistic level’.
He said the expectations of today’s youth were changing nearly as quickly as they were being formed, with their capabilities accelerating at a far greater rate then ever before.
Mr Glen said: “One of the fundamental and forgotten things in resilience, and one of the biggest misconceptions, is that people think resilient people do not need help.
“Wrong. Resilient people are the people who ask for help when they need it.”
Mr Glen said the youth of today was sometimes ‘a very misunderstood breed of people’ who have grown up in a world where the sharing of information and pressure from social media was reaching exponential rates.
“We rely on a little important concept called resilience, in order to make sense, in order to manage, control and protect us from all of this,” he said.
“But it is very important for us to realise when we are understanding mental health that everybody’s stresses affect them differently.
“The important thing is, you do not have to be ready for it, you just have to know what to do when it happens.”
Gareth Davies of Tir Dewi, a helpline service stemmed from The Diocese of St. Davids, said he thought it was unlikely that rural charities were going to be able to solve the problems of the current generation of farmers – nor their future problems – but that support should be sifted through education of the younger generation.
He said: “I think the way of doing it is by working through Jonathan and his generation, working with Young Farmers Clubs to encourage and reintroduce a culture of help, of asking for help and being part of the solution for help.
“We need to get them to realise that they are their own solutions in their own clubs, if only they continue to help each other.”