AGRICULTURE carries the highest rate of suicide of any occupation, and at this time of year the pressures of lambing, long hours working alone late into the night with little rest and often no-one to talk too can increase the pressures on farmers.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has been running a two-year campaign ‘It’s okay to talk’, in co-operation with mental health charities, spotlighting issues that can result in tragedy across the rural community.

“The ‘stiff upper lip’ is synonymous with the rural farming community and most farmers just get on with things,” said FUW county executive officer for Denbigh Mari Jones.

“Many may be hiding problems from themselves and their families and friends and talking about personal feelings is uncomfortable for many.

“We’ve faced some pretty low-points as a farming community in the last few years, TB, price volatility and, especially now, uncertainty about our future post-Brexit, which puts a strain on us all.

"Now it’s time to break the stigma attached to mental health and remember ‘It’s okay to talk’."

The single most effective thing farmers can do to help themselves is to talk.

For people sure who to talk to, they can contact: Samaritans on 116 123 or 0808 164 0123 (llinell Gymraeg); the DPJ Foundation by calling 0800 587 4262 / texting 07860 048799; Mind Cymru by calling 0300 123 3393, e-mailing or texting 86463; FCN on 03000 111 999; RABI on 0808 281 9490; or Tir Dewi on 0800 121 4722.