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McAleer urges farmers to 'Mind Your Head'

13 February, 2019 - by Declan McAleer

Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has urged farmers to talk about their mental health and seek help if required.

The party’s agriculture spokesperson said:

“This week is 'Mind Your Head' week and I would encourage all farmers to reach out to the Rural Support charity which offers free and confidential counselling and guidance if they are struggling.

“Research carried out by the Farm Safety Foundation showed that 81 percent of young farmers believe mental health issues are the ‘biggest hidden problem’ facing farmers today.

“It also showed that a farmer takes his or her life every week across the north and Britain.

“There are a number of mental health risk factors associated with farming and agriculture. Farmers often work long hours in isolation and times they fall under substantial pressure in terms of finance.

“The weather, natural disasters and the uncertainty created by Brexit will undoubtedly impact farmers and their stress levels.

“It is important to remember if you need help, there are people out there willing to help.” 

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