Gifford BE UK farmers open up about depression and mental health. Happiful. 2019;

Mental health: a priority for our farmers. 2019;

Fit for farming. 2018;

Promoting mental health among farming communities

25 March 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 6

Farming is a job that brings with it an exceptional set of challenges that are hard to predict or to control. Our farmers feed nations. But isolation, climate variabilities and adverse weather conditions impacting a season's yield can lead to economic hardship. These issues have, for a number of years, been taking their toll. Adding COVID-19 to the mix means that farmers are experiencing even more mental distress and the debilitating issues are not going to disappear. Concerns are increasing locally, nationally and globally over farmers' mental health.

Due to their work conditions, agricultural workers are more likely than those in other industries to suffer illness overall. Their risk of physical illness, particularly lung disease and musculoskeletal disorders, is higher than for other workers. This can also add to stress and anxiety, which can in turn affect feelings towards others, complicate decision making, and undermine coping mechanisms and concentration (Gifford, 2019).

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