Agriculture and Mental Health
Regenerative agriculture is so much more than the physical regenerating of farming, but also allows for a regenerative mindset and allows the social impact of farming to be a very positive thing for now and future generations.
As someone who suffered terribly with mental health issues following my son’s accident, I feel I cannot just ignore this ever-growing farm issue. What I do know is what a rut feels like, what it feels like to have darkness descend for days/weeks, even months and the effect it has on your loved ones. I am also fortunate to have had the opportunity to regenerate my mind because of some of the farming choices I have made.
The simple facts are
83 farmers committed suicide in 2018!
That’s more than 1 devastated family every single week mourning for a loved one.
Mental health amongst the farming community is as serious as it gets.
As a career that most are born into and work with fathers being the key influencers, by the time the reigns are handed over the want to change, alter or diversify has all but dried up and now with the ever-growing costs of all input costs combined with yield plateaus means margins are ever squeezed, heaping pressure on many farmers financial situation which can often be the key cause of depression. This becomes the vicious circle as they want to change becomes the ‘risk’ of not servicing debt, so the continuous treadmill of debt servicing increasing combined with decreasing profitability and ever-increasing costs.
There are however so many more reasons for mental health issues, including relationship breakdown, not just partners, but family members too. Increasing industry attacks from various pressure groups through environmental concerns and the rise of vegan extremest’s and I am sure many other issues most of us are even unaware of.
Thankfully there are some quite brilliant charities that are beginning to challenge the traditional ignorance and acceptance of mental health issues by the industry as a whole and the previous taboo topic is now something that is now openly spoken about at many conferences and industry events.
If you don’t fancy giving any of those charities a call, then
PLEASE RING ME 07710 814475
I have been there, done it and on a great journey now. I can talk and enthuse for hours and if i can help just 1 person in crisis, I would consider this section of my website a tremendous success.
For me, my Nuffield started a huge change in regenerating my mind. a visit to Browns ranch to meet Gabe Brown and listen to how for 4 years he failed to harvest any crops and yet came back from the brink with some of the most interesting and exciting farming techniques. His enthusiasm was infectious and very much started me on my reading journey.
When you begin to regenerate your mind, you become enthused, farming becomes fun again, something you look forward to doing every morning, to challenge yourself (and others) and share your successes and failures on various social media platforms all whilst making a healthy profit as focus moves from yields to profitability. Lets be honest if your soil/climate can only ever produce a maximum of ‘x’ yield, why spend a fortune to try and achieve the impossible ‘y’ yield? That goes for both livestock and crops. Enjoy challenging yourself why you are doing something, no-one has all of the answers, only you have the questions relevant to your farm.
Doug Avery ‘The resilient farmer’ is literally just that, a New Zealander that now travels the world giving talks on mental health (video right when he visited the UK). Doug himself faced farming crisis with an 8 year drought, but when finally recovered spent the subsequent years future proofing his farm to make sure that he has built such resilience into his farm, he is ready for any future challenges, whatever they may be.