The National Famers’ Union (NFU) have highlighted the need of farmers across the world to manage their mental health, especially during these challenging times where farmers are faced with extra challenges and increased confinement.
They stated that these factors can have a major impact on mental well-being and we need to recognise the signs of failing mental health amongst loved ones, friends and ourselves.
The Farm Safety Foundation (FSF), commonly known as the ‘Yellow Wellies’, are a mental health charity that was founded and funded by the NFU. They have put together a guide for coping with the stress of COVID-19 and maintaining your mental health during this time.
The topics outlined in the guide are as follows:
Addressing the stigma
The FSF say that mental health issues can affect anyone and they want everyone to be able to talk about it and know how to provide support. This guide will help instigate a conversation about the issues and point friends and family towards the support they need, even under lockdown.
What is mental health?
Mental health is defined as the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is “functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment.”
According to this guide, 1 in 4 people experience at least one mental health issue, which includes everything from panic attacks to psychosis.
Spot the signs
This guide provides signs that should be looked for when worried about someone’s mental health, for illnesses such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm.
Depression accounts for 26% of mental health issues. Depression is defined as someone who is experiencing a low mood and finds it hard to have fun or enjoy their lives.
One of the major signs of depression is a change in behaviour, such as irritability, indecision, loss of confidence, loss of humour or difficulty remembering things.
This guide offers a way to calculate the severity of someone’s depression, from mild to severe cases. The FSF state that being aware of the signs can help to address the issue at an early stage and guide the person towards the appropriate support.
4 tips for talking about mental health
- Keep the conversation positive and supportive;
- Keep your body language open and non-confrontational;
- Be empathetic and take the issue seriously;
- Ask open questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”.
To see the mental health guide in full or to learn more, click here.