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HomeFarming News‘Mental health is just like physical health - we can all struggle...
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Mental health is just like physical health – we can all struggle with ailments and pain’

Unearthing Farming Lives is a new film that examines some of the most common causes of mental health problems and their potential solutions within the farming and wider agricultural community.

Pink Sphynx produced the film in partnership with NFU Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council, Robert Gordon University (RGU) and Samaritans.

The production examines some of the most common causes of poor mental wellbeing before highlighting the potential solutions available.

The film offers an insight into the lives of local farmers, who illustrate their own struggles to overcome mental health challenges.

Unearthing Farming Lives

NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy chaired the launch event and subsequent Q&A session, putting questions from the audience to a panel of experts.

North East Regional vice-chair, Bob Hay, commented on the success of its launch via Zoom: “We had participants logged in from every region across Scotland, which in itself highlights the importance of the subject.”

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“It was extremely interesting to learn from the panellists that this film is just the start. Grant monies have been raised from Creative Scotland, Awards For All, and RGU’s Innovation Fund.

Bringing the arts and farming closer

“There are now plans afoot to bring the arts and farming closer together. This will help ensure students and farmers continue to join forces to address issues such as mental wellbeing, as well as developing messages around other key areas such as biodiversity, climate change, and the countryside.”

They hope to progress with these projects with Aberdeenshire Council and RGU throughout the next year. Besides, they will seek to host events on farms thereafter where “these learnings can flourish”.

Options and support mechanisms

NFU Scotland’s North East Regional Manager Lorna Paterson encouraged farmers to watch the film.

“Hopefully, you will recognise that there are many options and support mechanisms available for anyone who is struggling.”

“However, we fully acknowledge that we must start to tackle the causes, and not solely focus upon potential remedies.”

“This will not happen overnight. We need the full support of everyone in our urban and rural communities, alongside that of our politicians. Nevertheless, this is an emotionally endearing film and one not to be missed.”

Ahead of its launch, she said:

“Mental health is just like physical health – we can all struggle with ailments and pain. However, most of us find it difficult to admit when our mental health is suffering.”

“This film can really help drive change and allow everyone – including young people – to see that it is normal to have low moods sometimes and that it is brave to admit this and seek help.”

Three Irish farm vloggers shed light on mental health.

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