New training to help support young farmers' mental health

The new training modules aim to support young farmers' mental health
The new training modules aim to support young farmers' mental health

Young farmers are being offered support and training to help improve mental wellbeing amid major changes in the industry and pressures from the pandemic.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC), the Farming Community Network (FCN), and the DPJ Foundation are developing new Rural+ training modules.

This initiative, titled ‘Supporting Together’ aims to encourage young people in farming families to take action early and to plan for the challenges that the industry faces.

The new Rural+ training module is aimed at 10-26 year old YFC members and 16-25 year old agricultural students yet to embark on their first placement or role in the industry.

The training will focus on understanding stress and anxiety; managing personal mental wellbeing; how to talk about mental health; seeking support and supporting others.

Charity FCN has seen an increase in calls to its Helpline (03000 111 999) from the farming community over the past year that contain a mental health component, such as stress or anxiety.

Meanwhile, the DPJ Foundation has seen an increase in access to professional counselling through its Share the Load service (0800 587 4262) and high demand for its Mental Health Awareness Training.

Richard Jeyes, NFYFC’s Youth Forum Chairman, said the development of the Rural+ training module would give YFCs an essential resource to support their members’ wellbeing.

"We hope this training will help to improve resilience as we face major changes in the industry and additional pressures from the pandemic.

"We are delighted to be working with FCN and The DPJ Foundation to develop training that will equip young farmers with vital skills to help them manage future challenges.”

Jude McCann, chief executive of the Farming Community Network, added that the training came at an important turning point in British farming.

"Supporting young farmers’ personal resilience and providing mental health training will help to ensure they’re equipped with the knowledge, understanding and tools needed to thrive and create a sustainable farming future."

The first of the new training modules are planned for delivery from April.