Mental health in agriculture is more important than ever at Christmas

13:57 December 23, 2021

As Christmas approaches, the pressures facing farmers and rural businesses are greater than ever, says Emma Haley, charity manager of rural mental health charity YANA (You Are Not Alone).

In my work at YANA, I am constantly aware that the rural mental health support we provide is vital.

As the end of 2021 approaches, there is no indication that the many pressures on agriculture and many other rural businesses are easing. Everything indicates that the help we are providing is needed more than ever.

Here’s one of my highlights for 2021: YANA answered over 80% more calls to our hotline this year compared to 2020.

This is often the very first step in getting essential support and free advice for those working in our campaigns.

That is why this year we have continued to find new ways to reach people related to agriculture and other rural businesses or service providers.

For that, I mention another highlight: it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Our sticker campaign, launched in April, has seen YANA stickers appear on all kinds of farm vehicles. YANA supporters have put stickers on tractors and trailers, lifts and shifters, vans and harvesters, in cafes and churches to ensure that the support we provide is known to everyone. more people.

One of our callers said he was prompted for our help when he saw one of our YANA stickers on the back of a truck.

Our goal remains to be seen on every farm and in all other rural businesses.

Can you help? Order your free stickers from on the YANA Merchandise page. You too can “advocate for better rural mental health”.

John Deere tractor lit up for Christmas at Ben Burgess in Norwich, featuring one of YANA’s mental health awareness stickers
– Credit: Danielle Booden

Another wonderful fact is that we continue to receive so many requests to collaborate with us.

The Norfolk Rural Library Service asked us to bookmark them. The Land Colleges of Norfolk and Suffolk have invited us to introduce students to not only to help them become aware of the signs of mental health in themselves, but they can also contribute to the well-being of their colleagues.

We’ve had relationships, for example, with agronomy providers Agrovista, Insurance Company Longfields, and attorneys Ashtons so that all of their clients hear about us.

We provided mental health first aid training to an additional 80 people in 2021, who are putting their new skills to work for a large number and variety of rural workplaces.

Agricultural mental health charity YANA responded to 80% more calls for assistance this year compared to 2020

Agricultural mental health charity YANA responded to 80% more calls for assistance this year compared to 2020
– Credit: Antony Kelly

Our fundraising facts are amazing. In 2021, so many wonderful people ran, biked, hopped, cooked, walked, raffled and more for us. We are truly grateful.

But who would have predicted how much pressure would build up over the course of this year?

The impact of Brexit, the disruption of the lockdown of many small businesses, supply chain issues, shortages of both labor and goods, delayed deliveries, missed deadlines and the continuing rise in costs of many essential inputs such as energy – the list goes on.

But another of my highlights for the year is how, by being a local charity with local knowledge, we can respond quickly and flexibly with practical support where it’s needed most.

For example, when labor shortages caused the swine crisis and enormous financial hardship, YANA responded quickly by distributing assistance information packs to 80 pig farms in the region through our partners.

Certain pressures hit the headlines. Others – for whatever reason – remain hidden, but are no less felt. Worries about relationships, business decisions, or anything else that can overwhelm.

This is why, whatever the pressures of this year or the next, the essential fact remains that YANA is by your side.

Looking back on the past year, I am happy to work with YANA who helps so many people face the present or face their future.

And this is the last fact on which I will end.

  • A call to the YANA Hotline on 0300 323 0400 can result in quick access to free counseling sessions, delivered by trained counselors who understand rural life and the pressures of working in agriculture and rural businesses. . Visit for practical advice on better rural mental health for yourself or your loved ones.

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