UP and down the country, we are seeing new life pop up in the fields, lambs and calves everywhere, daffodils and snowdrops galore!

It is a wonderful time of year - we know winter is slowly coming to an end (or at least we hope so) and things are getting greener, the days are longer and the sun feels a little bit warmer.

It is, however, also a very stressful time for farmers.

Those who are in the middle of lambing or calving are no doubt tired, stressed, worried, anxious and are perhaps not having the best of times. A lack of sleep will be of little help and then there is SAF and new oil storage regulations as well.

With that in mind, we need to be mindful of our family members, friends and colleagues.

Have they eaten, had a break, slept?

Let’s make sure we look after each other as best we can during this busy period.

Talk to each other, it’s OK to not be OK.

If you’re feeling down - please know that others feel those things too; the same loneliness, helplessness and uncertainty.

There is also no shame in having poor mental health.

We all have mental health, various things happen throughout our life that impact our mental health and it is not a weakness in admitting you are suffering with poor mental health.

The single most effective thing you can do to help yourself is to talk.

Talk about your struggles and about what you are feeling.

Just by telling someone what you are going through is one of the biggest steps you can take – you will feel a weight lift off your shoulders.

Importantly, if you are that person being talked to you need to listen.

It is too easy to offer advice and positive thoughts and ways forward, but ultimately that person has taken a huge step to talk to you and you need to just sit and listen and let them take the weight off their shoulders.

Support is out there.

If you feel that your mental health is suffering, please talk to your GP.

They will be able to advise you on the best steps forward.

There are also excellent services available within Wales specifically for the agricultural community.

The Farming Community Network, Tir Dewi and the DPJ Foundation, Mind Cymru and Call Helpline Wales can all offer support.

Most importantly, we urge you to talk, whether you suffer with poor or good mental health.

Talk about mental health, have that conversation, look out for the signs amongst friends and be that person to listen.

The more conversations we have about mental health, the more comfortable people will feel talking about it and we can reduce the stigma that surrounds this awful illness that affects so many.



Farmers' Union of Wales