“We must take better care of ourselves”, says CLA Deputy President as mental health campaign launches
CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell is calling upon the farming community to look after its mental health, as part of the Farm Safety Foundation’s Mind Your Head campaign.
Talking about the annual campaign, Mr Tufnell said: “Farmers are made of stern stuff. That is the message we like to send particularly when teasing our urban friends and colleagues. Whatever task we are faced with, we just ‘get on with it’. Today, we have a new task that needs our urgent attention; our own mental health. In that context, getting on with it does not mean ignoring the problem, it means tackling it head on.”
According to the Farm Safety Foundation, 84% of farmers, who are under the age of 40, believe mental health is the biggest hidden problem they face.
Farmers and their families have many of the same issues as the general population. But there are many other factors exacerbated by our way of life; isolation, weather, long hours, market conditions and business uncertainty which all take their toll.
Farming continues to have one of the worst safety records of any industry. Given the hazards of, for example, operating heavy machinery, being in the wrong headspace at work can lead to life changing injuries – or worse. Indeed, 85% of young farmers believe there is a link between farm safety and mental health.
“Farmers are renowned for the care they give to their livestock and the attention they give their crops. Now is the time for us to better take care of ourselves,” added Mr Tufnell.
“We are backing the third annual Mind Your Head campaign as, in a rapidly changing industry that is facing tremendous uncertainty, we have to remove what remains of the stigma attached to mental health.”
For more information on the Mind Your Head campaign, visit www.yellowwellies.org.
The campaign runs from 10-14 February. Please give it your support.