New health and wellbeing video series for farmers

Farmers and their families are being reminded about the small changes to everyday habits that they can make to best deal with the rigors of the year ahead.

With New Year’s resolutions typically waning for many of us already, timely messages about alcohol consumption, diet, exercise, stress and mental health are being shared online by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Research suggests that getting more exercise, losing weight and improving diet are the most common New Year’s resolutions but only a quarter keep all of their pledges.

Important health and wellbeing messages are usually shared by the YAS’s Yorkshire Rural Support Network during free health checks delivered by fully trained health professionals at auctions marts and trade events throughout the year, however they have temporarily halted due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead, a series of bitesize farmer-friendly videos have been produced with the help of grant funding from The Prince’s Countryside Fund, including the short clip below about managing stress.

Livestock marts and other farmer-facing businesses are helping us to share the clips on their own social media channels to help reach as many in the farming community as possible.

Kate Dale, Co-ordinator of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network who farms with her husband Ben near Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire said:

As a farmer, it doesn’t matter what type of farm you have, what size it is, the pressures are all the same.

We are so often operating alone nowadays and it can be a really lonely existence, working long hours in difficult weather conditions, not to mention all the usual animal welfare, farm inspection, financial and family responsibilities and the best of us can soon feel pretty overwhelmed.

It’s important we all try and look after our own health. By doing so, we are going to be better equipped to run our own businesses. We really hope you will find this series of video clips helpful.

The series is presented by Anne Reed, a farmer’s wife and health practitioner from Thirsk.

Anne, who normally delivers the Society’s health checks said:

With the ongoing uncertainty around farming, I think it’s important to offer some tips to help keep our farmers and families healthy.

If after watching our videos you have any concerns about your health, then please do contact your GP surgery.

Among Anne’s messages are reminders about the importance of not over-indulging on alcohol and carbohydrates, keeping an eye on portion sizes and exercising for at least 2.5 hours during the course of a week.

David Moyles, of Samaritans, also presents this short reminder, below, about the importance of talking about our problems.

David, who urges anyone who is struggling to reach out for support said:

If you are feeling rubbish, at whatever the time of day, we are always going to be at the other end of the phone for you.

The service we provide is in confidence and is completely non-judgmental.

We’ll give you room to explore your thoughts and find your own solutions.

The Yorkshire Rural Support Network is a partnership of Yorkshire statutory and voluntary agencies that together promote and provide sources of help – whether practical, financial, medical or emotional – to the farming community all year-round.

If you are struggling and need support, call Samaritans in confidence on freephone number 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org or call the Farming Help charities helpline operated by The Farming Community Network on 03000 111 999.

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