Two farmers have opened up about their battles to overcome mental health issues in a new short film, which launched last week.
In Farming and Better Mental Health, directed by Berno Vierbergen – former dairy and sheep farmer and FCN volunteer, Nick Viney, talks candidly to farmer, Trevor Cligg, Dorset about their experiences of mental ill-health and the support they received.
Mental health battles
The video has been released to highlight Farming Help Awareness Week, which follows Mind Your Head, a campaign organised by Farm Safety Foundation to raise awareness of mental health in the industry and support farmers’ health and wellbeing.
Nick said: “We hope the short film encourages anyone in the farming community experiencing mental ill-health or dealing with other pressures on the farm to seek help early, talk about it and not be ashamed of how they’re feeling.”
“We hope those who watch the film will be encouraged to share it to let people know that there are support networks available, such as FCN and the other Farming Help charities. It can make a real difference and can help you get through difficult times.”
Trevor said: “After years of pressure on the farm, I found my mental health was not in a good place. I struggled with motivation and kept to myself a lot of the time.”
“My family insisted I see a doctor and seek support. Mental ill-health can affect all of us – you have to accept you have a problem; only then can you get help to deal with it.
“I wish more people would talk about how they’re feeling. A lot of people are struggling and stay out of sight or withdraw, and some hide in plain sight.”
“Talking about what we’re going through with the people around us and available to listen is one of the most important things we can do.”
Farming Help charities
Farming Help Awareness Week (February 22nd-26th) helps to promote the work of the Farming Help charities – The Farming Community Network, RABI, RSABI, Addington Fund and Forage Aid, supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Farming Help is an alliance, created by the charities, to provide a platform to consider how they can work together to secure the best possible outcomes for farming people.
The week encourages the charities to highlight the unique ways that they provide support to the farming community and lets people know that help is available to those in need.
The Farming Community Network (FCN), a charity and voluntary organisation with volunteers in England and Wales, operates the Farming Help helpline in England (03000 111 999). People in Scotland should contact RSABI’s helpline on 0300 111 4166.
If you are struggling or would like to speak to someone confidentially, call Farming Help on 03000 111 999.
You can find out more about the Farming Help charities by clicking here.