Earlier this year, we launched a campaign ‘Mind Your Head’ to tackle the stigma around mental health in farming and started working with key partners including FCN, RABI and The YANA (You Are Not Alone) Project, an organisation offering confidential support, mental health awareness and funding for counselling for those in farming and rural industries across Norfolk & Suffolk.
The impact of our award-winning Mind Your Head campaign meant that we are now frequently asked what help there is for rural communities when dealing with issues of isolation, mental health and support across the UK and this got us thinking…
After a worrying call from someone who turned to us for help with a suicidal employee, we decided that the responsibility of dealing with the issue warranted proper Mental Health First Aid training. We also started to do some research into sources of support and advice available to the farming community across the UK and discovered that YANA were doing exactly the same.
As Jo Hoey from YANA explains: “We started to do some research into sources of support and advice available to the farming community across the UK and decided to compile and fund a directory of those incredible regional support groups and key national charities which can specifically help those in our rural communities.
“The directory will be distributed to relevant businesses, charities and organisations across the UK so that contact details of the network of groups is readily available. The booklet also provides advice on how to recognise symptoms of stress and depression and how best to help a client, colleague, friend or family.
An initial print run of 1,000 copies of the directory has been arranged following a sizable donation received by the charity following the tragic death of a Norfolk farmer. Jo explains: ‘We wanted to make good use of the income and do something tangible in his memory. We hope that this directory will mean that many more people will be aware of the help that is available, how to access it and, importantly, how to be supportive to others. We are delighted that the directory is being launched as part of this year’s Farm Safety Week and we are so grateful to The Worshipful Company of Farmers and the Farm Safety Foundation who have enthusiastically supported our work.
“We believe this booklet will demonstrate the huge benefits of similar charities working together to provide a real network of support throughout the UK. We want those facing difficulties in rural life to truly understand that ‘You Are Not Alone’ – good support is available.”