You don’t have to tough it out alone. Just reach out for help…
As farmers we are very good at looking after environmental and animal health, but we don’t always worry about our own health.
The farming industry is often very isolated, we operate with a lot of issues outside our control – weather, politics etc. It is easy for things to get on top of us quickly – if something goes wrong it can be pretty dire.
The farming industry has an unenviable record of deaths related to mental health issues – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Don’t leave it to someone else, look out for your family, mates and neighbours. Recognise problems can occur not only with farmers but with their family members as well.
It’s not that hard – as well as talking about lambing percentages and grass growth we need to ask each other how we are – AND IMPORTANTLY take time to listen to the answer. Provide an opportunity for others to tell you that things are tough. Put answers together with body language and what you know of the person and if you think something is out of the ordinary give them further encouragement to speak up.
If they need help, help them find it.
By Federated Farmers Wairarapa Provincial President, Jamie Falloon