We wish to express our sadness at the loss of the young farmers to suicide over the past few weeks. No one should have to suffer through the death of a loved one by suicide, and when it happens in our rural communities, the ripples are spread far and wide. It hits hard when you hear about young men losing their lives to something as preventable as suicide.
Living and working rurally can be a challenge. Farmers often get to a place where they begin to feel hopeless, isolated and under constant financial pressure within a culture where you are expected to be tough and get on with things. Farmers deal daily with long working hours, extreme weather events, isolation, and the stress of being 24/7 on-farm.The risk can be heightened when access to services is difficult due to long distances and lack of availability.
We need to take care of our farmers who feed our country. Part of that means making sure they have access to support when they need it most. Farmers should know that asking for help is courageous. You will find out that you are not alone – even though you might feel that way sometimes.
Some simple things farmers can do to reduce and manage stress include:
– Take breaks
– Eat well
– Find someone who you trust to talk with, they may surprise you
– Spend time noticing the small things
– Remember to breathe deeply
– Helplines are available 24/7 for any issues, small or large
As we enjoy the feasts provided by our farmers over the festive seasons, we do so in gratitude to our farmers and all of their hard work.
Lifeline has begun working closely this year with Rural Support who are based in the rural community and able to understand the unique issues that farmers have to deal with daily. They can be contacted on 0800 757 254 – RURAL HELP, and as always, Lifeline is available 24/7 on 0800 LIFELINE.