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Farmer launches feel-good campaign to help combat rural suicide

After the sudden death of a close friend, one farmer has launched a campaign aiming to bring back the pride in agriculture and help combat rural suicide.

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Farmer launches feel-good campaign to help combat rural suicide #ILiveBecauseYouFarm

Tim May, known as Farmer Tim on social media, received five messages in one week about farmers dying by suicide - and thought enough is enough.

 

"So many people suffer silently and I know that we can’t help them all but sometimes even a small gesture can have a huge impact on someone’s life," he said.

 

"That’s why I want to try and start the #ILiveBecauseYouFarm campaign. Farmers make up less than 2% of the population so this shouldn’t be that hard.

 

"I want you all to take a moment and write a short note thanking a local farmer and anonymously put it in their mailbox. If you are uncomfortable doing that then write an anonymous letter to the editor and submit it to your local paper or a rural paper in a nearby community.

 

"I especially need the help of my non-farming followers. We are losing farmers at an alarming rate . I can’t handle reading another tragic story."


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A university study from 2016 showed depression, stress and emotional burnout are higher among farmers than other occupational groups.

 

May believes that’s because the industry faces a unique set of stressors — long days, being at the mercy of the weather, and often times not being able to take sick days or holidays.

 

He said the culture of farming also contributes to persisting mental health issues.

 

"Farmers are actually pretty stoic. They don’t show their emotions a lot."

 

"There’s this cowboy up attitude among farmers — if you can’t handle it you shouldn’t be a farmer."

The new campaign goes hand-in-hand with #Farm24 - a 24-hour period in which farmers are encouraged to show the world the work they do.

 

This year, Farmers Guardian is encouraging the public to thank British farmers for the food and drink they produce on a daily basis.

 

How can you take part?

 

Taking part is easy and we want as many people as possible from within the industry and outside of it to join in on the day.

 

Post about what you are doing on any of the following social media platforms: Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Remember to use the hashtag #Farm24 in your posts so we can find them and share them.

 

You can post from as many platforms as you like and as many times as you can throughout the day.

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