Mental Health in Farming – Who cares?


Farming in the UK has been hit by an increase in flooding, drought, and heatwaves in recent years. The effects of the relentless season of storms have had huge consequences for those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the land. Fields flooded, crops destroyed and animals in danger have made recent headlines but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The UK’s farming industry has faced many challenges over the past few years but the emerging mental health challenge may prove the most devastating.

This week, our seventh annual Mind Your Head campaign will continue to raise awareness of those challenges, tackle the stigma attached to poor mental health in the farming sector but recognise that there are steps being taken to address it…

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager, Farm Safety Foundation

Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation said: “Mind Your Head launched in 2018 when concerns about Brexit, policies, administration and legislation were causing increased anxiety in the industry. Fast forward seven years and the campaign has grown and is now recognised by 67% of farmers in the UK. Mental health is always a sensitive subject but it’s something that is thankfully growing in importance and profile. The answer to the question “who cares?” is everyone – and everyone should.

 Agriculture is a proud and hardworking industry and vital to the UK economy. Far from being downtrodden, the UK’s farmers are resilient and resourceful and committed to finding ways to tackle any challenge they face. Over the years we’ve been encouraged by the growing numbers of farm businesses and organisations wanting to learn more about how to help their workers and suppliers as well the incredible individuals taking steps to improve their mental wellbeing and, in this year’s campaign, we will be highlighting them and hopefully inspiring many more to do the same.”

Alison Steadman OBE stars in WAKE Photography : Sally Mais

A few more well-known faces offering their support to this year’s campaign include ‘Gavin and Stacey’ actress Alison Steadman OBE, Poldark’s Mark Frost, Emmerdale’s Louise Clein and rising star Stuart Campbell who are all starring in an original independent British short film that explores the aftermath of suicide in a farming family.

Written, produced and directed by Rebecca Rose, WAKE is a film about how a family comes to terms with tragic loss and how the four protagonists cope both psychologically and practically. The film toured international film festivals in 2022 and, today, at 6pm, we will premier it on our social media channels and in a special screening for media.

Kelvin & Liz Fletcher

Another well-known farming figure supporting the campaign this year is actor Kelvin Fletcher, who started farming in 2021 after purchasing a 120-acre farm in the Peak District.

As someone who has had first-hand experience of the many challenges facing farmers at present, Kelvin appreciates the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing at work.

BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson who last year launched his podcast “Keeping on Track” to raise awareness of mental health difficulties amongst farmers and rural communities joins the team again. Adam is no stranger to the challenges of rural life however the shock of losing a farming friend to suicide in 2018 inspired him to start campaigning and raising awareness of the mental health issues affecting the industry.

‘I have lived on a farm and been involved in farming all my life,’ he says. ‘As anyone working in farming knows, every day brings potential joy and disaster – you never quite know what is going to happen and there are many things you can’t control.’

To keep up with all the campaign content this week please follow us on social media – @yellowwelliesUK on Facebook, Instagram and X using the hashtag #MindYourHead.



stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9Mental Health in Farming – Who cares?