Tackling mental health stigma among farmers

Feb 13, 2015

A campaign by the UK's Farming Community Network (FCN) aims to get farmers talking about mental health to break down stigma and reduce the alarming rates of suicide within this community.

Farmers are being encouraged to speak up if they're feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, with the campaign seeking to change attitudes around mental health.

According to statistics published in Farmers Guardian, British farmers are more likely to die by suicide than almost any other industry sector. This high risk of suicide also applies to Australian farmers, especially in times of extreme weather.

FCN regional director Glyn Evans said: “The fact farming is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week commitment – usually working alone and in all sorts of weather – can easily trigger feelings of stress and depression.

"The comparative isolation of rural life means it is far from easy to find a neighbour or friend to chat to and, when taken together, it is not difficult to see why tragedies occur.”

Farmer Power - encouraging Australian farmers to seek support 

In 2013, Farmer Power was established in Victoria to provide somewhere for struggling farmers to turn to for support.

Its successes in getting farmers to reach out, ask for help and check in with their mates led to the organisation being featured as a Heads Up case study.

Find out more about Farmer Power's work to reduce stigma in the farming community

 

 

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