Mind Monmouthshire
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info@mindmonmouthshire.org.uk

Mind Monmouthshire's New Farmers Support

So, why a farmer’s project?

It was identified in 2018 that there was a need for a specialist service which was directly aimed at those in the farming community.  National statistics were showing that mental health and suicide was an increasing problem; yet this was not replicated by the referrals we as a local mental health charity were receiving from those who worked and lived in in the agricultural arena.  This caused some concern as Mind Monmouthshire exists in a county which is predominantly rural, yet the farming population were not accessing our services.
 
Research showed what those in the farming community knew only too well, that traditional sources of help are not easy for those in the farming community to access.  
 
 
Who has time to attend a GP appointment when there is lambing to be done, or milking to complete?  Farmers face excessive workloads; working in excess of the accepted full-time norm of 37 hours per week.  Holidays can be a rarity and as for sick pay? No such thing.
 
The isolation that many farmers, and their families felt, was another issue.  Spending extended periods of time alone can force a dip in a person’s mental health, yet for many who work in a rural setting, this is a forced hazard of the lifestyle.
 
Concerns surrounding animal bio-security, especially Bovine TB, were also adding to the stresses, along with uncertainty around farming subsidies and increasing costs of overheads.  The monopoly of supermarkets on pricing structures and the miles of red tape that needs wading through also add pressures to an already stressful vocation.
 
It was also clear that farmers have access to tools, poisons and firearms which are not freely available to other sections of society making the completion of suicide a more likely outcome.
 
It is the aim of Mind Monmouthshire to create an independent safe environment where farmers and their families can discuss their concerns around their own emotions and practical issues.  It is important stress that this is a totally confidential service and anything told to a support worker would be listened to without judgment.  
 
Referrals for support can be undertaken by anyone.  You can refer into the service yourself, or on behalf of another, as long as they are aware and accept that they want help.  You will be put through to a member of the team who will arrange a visit for a confidential chat about what the needs are.  
 
If you or anyone you know is interested in accessing this service, or finding out a little bit more about the project and what can be done for you, contact us using the details below:
 
farmers@mindmonmoutshire.org.uk
 
01873 858275
 
 
Jaime C. Devine
Project Lead