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HOPS is supporting this year’s Mind Your Head campaign (10-14 February) organised by leading farming charity the Farm Safety Foundation which will encourage the farming community to stop and think about how they are looking after their physical and mental wellbeing. 

The award-winning campaign, now in its third year, was launched to raise awareness of the growing issue of poor mental health in our agricultural sector. 

HOPS works with its growers to raise awareness of the unique pressures that can be faced by seasonal workers in the industry. Working far from home, in often physically demanding roles and sometimes challenging conditions can have an impact on people’s mental health. 

HOPS urges growers to look out for the signs that someone in their team might be struggling and to offer support and a place to talk. The Farming Community Network has recently added advice about seasonal workers to its Farm Well online resource here

Farmers and their families face the same issues that everyone faces but there are a unique set of stressors in the industry; weather, market fluctuations, loneliness, long hours etc. that compound everyday pressures. Farming continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK and, given the hazards and risks faced by farmers every day, being in the wrong headspace when working on a busy farm can, in fact, lead to life-changing or life-ending accidents. 

HOPS is also supportive of work that NFYFC is doing with rural young people to get them talking about mental health. YFCs are often located in remote, rural locations where isolation can be a real issue for some. The Federation developed Rural+ – a session that can be run during club meetings that aims to raise awareness of mental health and to signpost places of support. 

Sarah Boparan, HOPS Operating Director, said: “We are backing the third annual Mind Your Head campaign as we believe that there is no better time to focus attention on the physical and mental wellbeing of an industry under pressure. 

“We believe that tackling the stigma surrounding poor mental health in the industry is vital and we ask those living and working in the UK’s agricultural sector do you really know enough about the issue to offer real help to someone who needs it?” 

For more information on ‘Mind Your Head’ visit www.yellowwellies.org or follow @yellowwelliesUK on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram