20th Apr, 2019

Film to highlight mental health issues among farmers

A FILM highlighting the mental anguish affecting UK farmers is set to be launched by a Warwickshire charity.

The project is part of the Stratford based Farm Safety Foundation’s upcoming campaign, ‘Mind Your Head’, taking place from February 11 to 15.

The campaign coincides with Valentine’s day – which can sometimes make those who are lonely or depressed feel worse.

The film ‘A Quiet Night Inn’ will be released across social media on Monday.

It tells the story of one young farmer talking about his mental health with his friends.

Landlord Richard Merand offered his pub, the Red Lion Pub & Kitchen in Hunningham, for the project to support his regulars – many who work in agriculture.

He said: “If you look at some of the stresses that farmers face, they’re just huge, and so variable. So many of the stresses they’re experiencing in their jobs are outside of their control, and that leads to a sense of hopelessness and helplessness — which increases their risk for negative mental health outcomes. It is always a good idea to get away from things for a few hours, meet in a friendly environment and just talk.”

During the week the foundation will bring together organisations and other charities to raise awareness and build a community of support for those suffering from mental health issues – thought to be the biggest problem facing farmers today.

Charity spokeswoman Stephanie Berkeley said: “One thing has become evident, farmer health and wellbeing can not, and should not, be ignored – by any of us. Simply pretending the issue does not exist or has no impact on the industry is not acceptable.

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

“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.

“As an industry, we have a collective responsibility to do something about the issue of poor mental health and the risk of suicide and we believe that every one of us has a role to play.”

Visit www.yellowwellies.org for more information and support.

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