Published onJanuary 17 2022
The third Monday of January - titled ‘Blue Monday’ - marks the ‘supposed’ most depressing day of the year. Post-Christmas blues aside, we’re aware that everyday can be a struggle.
Breaking down barriers around mental health is a challenge the land-based and environmental industry faces more than most, predominantly due to the isolated nature of day-to-day roles.
According to research from the Farm Safety Foundation, 88% of farmers under the age of 40 now rate poor mental health as the biggest hidden problem faced by farmers today, up from 81% in 2018.
Therefore, it’s important to be aware of how you are feeling and to reach out to someone if you are in low spirits. Knowing how to combat these feelings – whether that’s exercising and getting some fresh air, immersing yourself in nature or grabbing a cuppa with an old friend – is essential, along with knowing how to access help.
Our e-learning course ‘Mental Health in Agriculture’ - written by Steven James, who has over 10 years’ of experience working as a mental health practitioner - is a great and easily accessible resource for all.
The short course is free and can be accessed at any time, and is especially relevant if you’re feeling in low spirits and want some help to understand why. Tips are given for self-soothing and overcoming unpleasant symptoms, guidance is also provided in relation to seeking further help.
If you’re interested in developing skills to become a mental health first aider, then a training course, approved and certified by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, could be the answer.
The tutored courses cover a range of practical skills including how to spot the signs of mental illness and, how to have the confidence to step in and support a person who needs assistance.