The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.
Farming is not just a job - it's a way of life. But it is also an inherently risky and volatile industry to work in. Farmers are regularly forced to deal with issues on the farm that are beyond their control, such as animal disease, fluctuating market prices and the weather. Farming can also be a very isolating and lonely occupation, with farmers often spending long hours out in the field with little or no form of social interaction.
On top of their responsibilities on the farm, farm workers also deal with issues in their personal life, such as relationship breakdowns, physical health problems and bereavement.
Furthermore, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, many farmers face great uncertainty about the future of their farm business.
All of this means that farmers and farming families across the UK are highly susceptible to poor mental wellbeing, including stress, anxiety and depression - and sadly, approximately one farmer a week dies by suicide in the UK.
Simply talking about your problems is often the first step towards improved mental wellbeing. But because of the stigma surrounding mental health, many within the farming community have difficulty coming forward and admitting that they need help. Farmers generally also don’t discuss their issues with a friend or relative as they don't wish to become a burden. More often than not, they prefer to discuss their issues in confidence with someone who they have no emotional attachment to and who will treat their situation without judgment - this is where FCN can help.