Young farmers tackle rural mental health

A new campaign aimed at gaining better recognition for the often neglected issue of mental health has been launched by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers (SAYFC).

SAYFC national chairman Stuart Jamieson. Picture: Contributed
SAYFC national chairman Stuart Jamieson. Picture: Contributed

The association said that the “Are Ewe OK?” initiative would focus on raising awareness of mental wellbeing over the next 12 months by encouraging rural youth to listen, talk and share.

SAYFC’s national chairman Stuart Jamieson said statistics showed that people facing poor mental health often felt they received negative treatment from others on a regular basis.

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“One in four people in Scotland will suffer from poor mental health at some point during their life,” he said. “Everyone has mental health, it can be good, it can be less than good but everyone’s mental health is different as well as constantly changing.”

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He said that, by launching the campaign, the association hoped to break the stigma surrounding mental wellbeing: “It’s about looking out for each other by taking the time to listen, offering a situation where someone feels confident enough to talk or by sharing information to aid our members. Everyone can get involved by just asking “Are Ewe OK?”

Jamieson said the campaign would use social media to target the association’s audience of young people in Scotland’s rural communities.

He said that by raising awareness of poor mental health triggers and conditions, the association hoped to aid members with the knowledge needed to recognise the signs, and how to seek help if someone was suffering.