THE Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services is supporting this year’s Mind Your Head campaign which kicks off Monday, February 11.

Organised by leading farming charity Farm Safety Foundation, it aims to raise awareness and tackle the stigma of the growing issue of mental illness in farming. Recent research by the charity reveals that 81 per cent of farmers under 40 believe that mental health is the biggest hidden problem facing farmers today and 92 per cent believe that promoting good mental health is crucial if lives are to be saved and farmers kept safe.

Throughout the week, the Farm Safety Foundation will be reminding farmers and farming families that Valentine’s week; when we are supposed to celebrate love and togetherness, can sometimes highlight how different, alone, or low we feel and if that is the case, help is available.

The Foundation will bring together key people, organisations and other charities to raise awareness of this mounting issue in the industry and build a community of support for those affected.

Diane Spark from UTASS said: “We are backing Mind Your Head as it’s important to raise awareness of the issue in the industry. Farming can be a highly stressful occupation and the industry is exposed to a unique set of circumstances and stressors. Farming has the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK and stress is often a key factor in many of the accidents, injuries and illnesses taking place on farms."

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