Farmer survey results: 57% impacted to some degree by anxiety

The ‘state of the nation’ survey – conducted with almost 3,000 farmer participants in recent days by AgriLand and Empathy Research – has revealed startling statistics on mental health.

As part of the study, participants were asked the question: “Have you, or anyone closely related to you, been impacted by any of the following over the past 12 months?”

Issues highlighted included: feelings of depression / severe sadness; feelings of anxiety; and suicide / attempted suicide.

Options given included: “yes, me personally”; “yes, someone close to me”; “no”; and “prefer not to say”. Multiple answers were allowed, with some participants selecting two answers for each.

The findings made for concerning reading – 46% of participants were impacted to some degree by the first issue: feelings of depression / severe sadness. This included: 26% of respondents saying “yes, me personally”; and 23% saying “yes, someone close to me”.

48% said that they were not affected by depression or severe sadness.

Younger participants were more inclined to say that they were affected, with 53% of those aged under 34 selecting “yes” of some form. This reduced to 50% of the 35-39 year-old respondents, with 49% or less of all categories of those aged over 40 saying affirmative.

Even more farmer respondents were affected to some degree by feelings of anxiety – some 57% overall.

37% said they were affected personally, while 23% had someone close to them affected. Meanwhile, 39% said that they were not affected.

Age wise, 35-39 year-old participants had the highest percentage of those who said they were affected with 64% choosing this. Next most prevalent were the 30-34 year category, on 60%. Older age groups who said “yes” were 59% or less.

Finally, 8% of participants said they had been affected by suicide or attempted suicide. 2% said they were affected personally, while 6% said the issue impacted someone close to them.

87% of respondents said that they were not affected by suicide or attempted suicide.

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