Scottish Young Farmers launch mental health campaign

A mental health campaign has been launched by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC).

The “Are Ewe Okay?” initiative will focus on raising awareness of mental well-being over the next 12 months by encouraging rural youth to listen, talk and share.

The campaign was launched by SAYFC’s national chairman Stuart Jamieson, MSP John Scott and the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution’s Jill Sloan to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (16-22 May).

“One in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health at some point during their life,” said Mr Jamieson.

“Everyone has mental health – it can be good or it can be less than good, but everyone’s mental health is different, as well as constantly changing, depending on many different aspects

“SAYFC has 3,500 members aged between 14 and 30, so there are so many different life events and pressures going on during this period that can influence how they feel, including education, relationships, employment, health and finance.”

About nine out of 10 young people facing poor mental health said they received negative treatment from others, with nearly half noting this happened monthly, weekly or daily.

Mr Jamieson said this was key to why Are Ewe Okay? would be a focus for Scotland’s largest rural youth organisation.

See also: Young Farmers can “blow away” mental health stigma

“This statistic is one of the reasons we have chosen to encourage those all-important conversations and break the stigma surrounding mental well-being.

“It’s about looking out for each other by taking the time to listen, offering a situation where someone feels confident enough to talk or by sharing information to aid our members. Everyone can get involved by just asking Are Ewe Okay?”

By raising awareness of poor mental health triggers and conditions, the association hopes to aid members with the knowledge they need to recognise the signs, and how to seek help if someone is suffering.

Follow the campaign and pledge your support or keep up-to-date via social media using the #AreEweOkay? hashtag

Depression – did you know?

Depression can cause a wide variety of symptoms – ranging from lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful.

Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.

There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and complaining of various aches and pains.

Sometimes there is a trigger (bereavement, losing your job or even having a baby can bring it on) but you can also become depressed for no obvious reason.

At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while at its most severe depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.

It’s important to seek help from your GP if you think you may be depressed. The sooner you see a doctor; the sooner you can be on the way to recovery.

Treatment for depression involves either medication or talking treatments, or a combination of the two.

With the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery.