Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, a campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation. Over the years, the Farm Safety Foundation, or Yellow Wellies, as they are also known, have been working to preserve and protect the physical and mental wellbeing of those living and working in rural communities, delivering award-winning campaigns and farm safety and mental wellbeing training to thousands across the UK.
The foundation is aware that these are challenging times and people are struggling. Right now, the spread of this global pandemic is causing stress, anxiety and fear in a year when weather, flooding and Brexit have already been a key concern for farmers.
To support the UK agricultural industry, the Farm Safety Foundation wrote and published a follow up to their popular Little Book of Minding Your Head – a 32-page guide to dealing with the stress of COVID-19. This publication contains practical advice and ways to care for your mental wellbeing, suggestions of where to learn more and a few small tweaks to your daily routine that may help at this time.
In terms of workplace wellbeing, the COVID-19 situation presents a few different things to think about, and this little book can help with some of them. The charity have focused on a few elements such as stress, what is it and why it matters, top tips for working at home, building your resilience, triggers and signs of mental ill health and seeking relevant support.
In addition to this resource, the team are delivering mental awareness and supporting wellbeing sessions for key farming organisations, retailers and companies and will be kicking off this Mental Health Awareness Week with a session for 130 staff at NFU Mutual, the company that founded and fund the charity. Throughout the week, the team will be sharing messages on social media and working to ensure the industry remember that #KindnessMatters – not just when dealing with their livestock, machinery and land but, most importantly, for themselves.