Farm Safety Week: Coping with the pressures of farming

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During this Farm Safety Week, the Farm Safety Foundation and its partner organisations have joined forces to drive forward the issue of ‘Pressures of Farming’.

At this year’s Balmoral Show, Rural Support, in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), launched its new booklet entitled ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’, aimed at offering the farming community help and assistance in relation to their health and well-being and coping with the everyday pressures of running a farm.

Staying well mentally is just as important as staying well physically. Dealing with stress and strain, the ups and downs of life, are part and parcel of daily living. Farming, whilst rewarding, can sometimes feel stressful. Unpredictable weather, the economic downturn, rising costs, poor prices, uncertain future, aches and pains, as well as feelings of isolation can all cause pressures for the farming community and can lead to issues with a farmer’s mental wellbeing.

This booklet has been researched and collated to address some of the many and varied issues that contribute to stress when not handled appropriately.

Objectives of this resource:

* to promote positive mental health among farmers and farm families

* to encourage help seeking behaviours in terms of emotional well-being among farmers and farm families by increasing awareness of services available

* to reduce financial stress by encouraging more efficient ways of managing resources and increasing awareness of support services

* to improve community understanding of what mental health truly is and challenge the fears and stigma often associated with mental illness which can be barriers to seeking necessary professional help

to promote and encourage the development of Social Farming for the benefit of vulnerable citizens, persons and their families

Bryan Monson, Deputy Chief Executive HSENI, said: “It is important to realise that how farmers deal with pressures and stress can affect their ability to farm safely and remain healthy, yet because farming is such a busy occupation it’s often the last thing on their mind. Farmers are good at looking after their land and livestock, they fix and maintain equipment, improve and enhance their farms, but often forget to look after the farms greatest asset – themselves.

“This booklet is designed to provide practical help and guidance on dealing with the pressures which are often encountered, and signpost to sources of help and advice.”

To download a copy of this booklet, please see the following link: Coping with the Pressures of Farming.