Young Farmers' Clubs are being encouraged to add NFYFC’s wellbeing training session Rural+ to their club programmes as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) is calling on all 580 YFCs to help tackle mental health issues within the industry as the weeklong initiative gets underway.
NFYFC President Nigel Owens, who speaks openly about his personal struggles with mental health, said he was keen for clubs to start the conversation.
"Many of us know that members of our community are struggling with their mental health and sadly some have felt there was no way out of the problems they faced.
"We have to do more to ensure everyone seeks the help they need. And YFCs can help make this happen," Mr Owens said.
“My challenge to all 580 YFCs this Mental Health Awareness Week is to get the Rural+ Curve module on their club programmes.
"This short interactive session will get clubs talking and help more rural young people to recognise the signs of mental health issues in themselves and others.
“Let’s work together to do as much as we can to build resilience and develop positive mental health for all our members.”
Mental Health Awareness Week is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation and is in its 22nd year. This year, the theme is ‘loneliness’.
Throughout the week, NFYFC will be sharing stories about the action Warwickshire Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs has taken by committing to deliver the Rural+ session to all YFCs in the county.
The County Federation decided it wanted to deliver Rural+ to all clubs following the death of one of its members, Len Eadon, who took his own life on New Year’s Day this year.
Megan Bailey, Warwickshire's County Training Officer, is delivering the sessions throughout the county. She said: “It’s a positive module that focuses on wellbeing and resilience.
“After the sad loss of one of our members, Warwickshire FYFC pledged to deliver Rural+ to all our clubs by the summer and we have nearly met our goal.
"We have received positive feedback from all of the clubs who have taken part so far and it has prompted really good conversations about our mental health.
"We recommend all other county federations make a similar pledge to us and ensure their clubs take part in these sessions to help the YFC community be more open about problems we may be facing.”
Rural+ was the brainchild of a former National Chairman of Council Claire Worden.
Sessions focus on understanding stress and anxiety; managing personal mental wellbeing; how to talk about mental health; seeking support and supporting others.