Farmers are often overlooked when we talk about mental health problems, with much of society forgetting about the struggles they have to face and the vulnerability of their livelihood. With Brexit on the horizon, this is particularly the case, which is why more needs to be done to protect farmers’ health and wellbeing once Britain leaves the European Union (EU).
There are just a few weeks left until Brexit occurs on October 31st, which could leave many farmers and farming communities confused about regulations and administrative burdens. All of this will increase their financial pressures, while the isolating nature of their jobs means they will be dealing with this entirely on their own.
Dr Alisha Davies, head of research and development at Public Health Wales, said the health and wellbeing of farmers “is often not prioritised”.
“Our new report highlights that – whilst Brexit is a concern – there are many other challenges in farming today, and it is this accumulation of adversity which puts undue pressure on farmers and their families,” she stated.
The report shows the uncertainty and viability of farming, digitalisation, loneliness, succession planning, and isolation are becoming especially challenging for farming communities.
Ways to better support farmers during these difficult times include raising awareness about mental health within the farming sector; increasing literacy around the topic among support agencies; integrating mental health and wellbeing across farm-facing services; and delivering outreach programmes.
Next Thursday (October 10th) marks Mental Health Day, raising awareness of mental health problems, breaking down its stigma, and encouraging people to support each other during difficult times.
For professional help, get in touch with counsellors in Manchester.