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Four fifths of farmers under 40 think mental health is biggest problem facing sector

The statistics came as part of the Farm Safety Foundation’s Mind Your Head campaign, running this week (February 11 to 15) to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

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Four fifths of farmers under 40 think mental health is biggest hidden problem facing the sector #MindYourHead

Four fifths of farmers under the age of 40 consider mental health to be the biggest problem facing the ag community, a farm charity has said.

 

The statistics came as part of the Farm Safety Foundation’s Mind Your Head campaign, running this week (February 11 to 15) to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and remind farmers that ‘living well is the key to farming well’.

 

The campaign, which is in its second year, vowed to ‘build a community of support for those affected’.

 

It said: “Throughout the week, the Farm Safety Foundation will be reminding farmers and farming families that Valentine’s week; when we are supposed to celebrate love and togetherness, can sometimes highlight how different, alone, or low we feel, and if that is the case, help is available.”


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With the overall illness rate for agricultural workers 46 per cent higher than the industry average, one in four people in farming have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

 

Ninety two per cent of farmers said that promoting good mental health was ‘crucial’ going forward.

 

Stephanie Berkeley of the Farm Safety Foundation said last year’s event made clear that ‘farmer health and well-being cannot, and should not, be ignored’.

 

 

She said: “This week were are mounting the week long campaign in the run up to one of the biggest and possibly most stressful events facing the industry – Brexit.

 

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“In previous times of stress such as the BSE crisis in 1986 and the outbreak of Foot and Mouth in 2001, there was a sharp increase in the number of farmer suicides as farm incomes declined.

 

“Learning from past experiences we need to be prepared to support our farmers through this time and this is what we are great at as an industry.”

 

For more information click here, go to @yellowwelliesUK, or search #MindYourHead.

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