Tackling mental health: ‘Don’t try to carry the load on your own’

It has been a really difficult year for farmers and they’ve been urged to look after their mental health.

Speaking to AgriLand on this topic at the National Ploughing Championships, George Graham – the Wexford-based sheep shearer and mental health advocate – said: “There are a lot of people under a lot of pressure and of course mental well-being is not just farmers, it can affect anybody, at any time, from any walk of life.

But from a farming point of view, a lot of people are working alone now – working long hours. Talk to a friend; talk to a neighbour. Don’t stay alone. Make sure and talk to somebody.

“Share that problem because you are carrying that load yourself and you can’t carry that load on your own,” he said.

If you feel like you are in a position where you can’t speak to a family member, George said, talk to someone you can trust.

“Don’t try to carry the load alone and take that first step if you have to,” he said.

Take the first step and look for help; don’t try to do it on your own.

George also noted that one of the difficulties out there is an unwillingness to talk; but he said supports are available.