THIS week the spotlight will fall on mental health within the farming sector as the annual #MindYourHead campaign returns.
The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) will once again lend its voice to support the initiative which is run by the Farm Safety Foundation – Yellow Wellies.
Speaking about the importance of working collaboratively to raise awareness of mental health LMC interim chief executive, Colin Smith said, “Now in its seventh year the #MindYourHead campaign brings together over 300 industry partners to promote the importance of making mental health a priority among farmers and rural communities.
“Recent research carried out by the Farm Safety Foundation found that 95% of the UK’s young farmers say mental health is one of the biggest hidden problems faced by farmers today. Initiatives such as #MindYourHead encourage us all to take a moment to pause and think about our own health, and that of those within our community.
“Farming can often be portrayed as an idyllic way of life, but the reality for many can be working long hours, often in isolation. The farming sector has experienced numerous challenges of late; difficult weather conditions, rising inflation and labour shortages, to name but a few. A farming year can bring about some unforeseen challenges, but we are remarkably good at coming together to support each other. As a sector we all must converge when it comes to promoting positive mental and physical health within our industry.”
LMC is an active affiliate member of Northern Ireland’s Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), playing an important role in promoting and helping drive positive change in regard to farm safety and health and wellbeing.
Colin added, “The Commission will continue to work proactively with stakeholders in NI and the UK to further the positive work already underway in this sphere. With the Mind Your Head campaign ongoing, it is timely for us all to take a moment to check in on others. Call a friend or neighbour and see how they are. Small acts can make a big difference, let’s all come together to make our mental health a priority.”