Young farmers have been reminded there is support available for anyone struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic – as a national awareness week begins.
The cancellation of field days, rallies and agricultural shows have removed the chance for young farmers to socialise and have a break in what is already an isolated way of life.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) has launched a Take Time toolkit to support young rural people.
The online resource provides seven different ways farmers can take time to help improve their mental wellbeing.
It includes exercising, staying connected by making a video or phone call, and recognising when it is time to take a break.
The NFYFC said it wanted to build on its Rural+ work that was delivering mental health awareness sessions to Young Farmers’ clubs across England and Wales.
Clubs have been closed since the middle of March due to Covid-19 restrictions, meaning members are no longer meeting with friends or getting access to Rural+ sessions or resources.
Ruth Cooper, NFYFC’s youth forum chairwoman, said: “Lockdown in the UK brought a devastating blow to the YFC life we are used to, and it has been affecting all of us in different ways.
“Take Time is aimed at encouraging YFC members to take care of themselves and to understand that their mental health matters as much as their physical health.
“We need to look after ourselves and be there for our friends and family.”
It’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and young farmers are being encouraged to take time to manage their mental wellbeing by using new Take Time resources launched by NFYFC today, sponsored by @TamaFGS. See more here: https://t.co/ts2WcNO94h #YFCatHome #YoungFarmers pic.twitter.com/xli4iMcGW4
— NFYFC (@NFYFC) May 18, 2020
The support coincides with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 18-24 May.
?#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek starts today! Let’s get the nation talking about kindness & mental health?
?At times like these, when the world feels upside down?Kindness can be the key to turning things around?
— Mental Health Fdn (@mentalhealth) May 18, 2020
The theme this year is kindness and Farmers’ Union of Wales president, Glyn Roberts, asked all farmers to be kind to themselves and talk to someone if they are struggling.
He said: “Telling someone what you are going through is one of the biggest steps you can take – you will feel a weight lift off your shoulders.
“Equally, if you notice a family member or friend struggling – speak to them. Give them a call, have a virtual coffee catch-up.
“I urge you to be kind to yourself – if you feel like the world is crashing down on you, talk about it if you can and try not to put yourself under too much pressure.”
Where to go for support
- The Samaritans: Call for free on 116 123. Or email email@example.com
- Shout Crisis Text Line: Text shout to 85258
- Farming Community Network: Call for free, 7am-11pm, on 03000 111 999. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org