Every farmer is an individual; whatever your problem there’s an answer.
The October 2018 edition of Farmer’s Weekly featured the growing concern about the mental health of farmers today.
The pressures faced by farming and the effect this has on mental health come under the spotlight on World Mental Health Day (Wednesday, 10 October).
Hard work, long hours, spending a lot of the time working alone without human contact, financial pressures, livestock diseases and poor harvests can threaten farmers’ physical and emotional health.
A new campaign has been launched called Fit2Farm, focussing on the help available.
Here in West Wales there is a charity operating across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire which offers support for farmers who are experiencing difficulties.
Tir Dewi was formed in response to a growing and serious need for someone to help the farmers of West Wales in difficult times. Rev Canon Eileen Davies and Bishop Wyn (now retired) agreed that something had to be offered and Eileen was tasked with establishing Tir Dewi as a helpline, listening service and support service.
Tir Dewi is here to listen and help, and offer complete confidentiality. Their support is FREE. Tir Dewi believe that there is an answer to every problem and their volunteers understand many of the issues faced by farmers in our community.
Tir Dewi aims to help you find your own solution.
You know your business better than anyone else – we can support you in making the right decisions. Together we might stand a better chance of finding your solution than carrying on alone.
The service was originally launched in the summer of 2015 and, since then has actively helped around 150 farmers and their families who were, in one way or another at crisis point.
What Tir Dewi provides:-
• Someone to talk to – Farmers can often feel isolated. When you have problems that feeling of isolation can grow until you feel you have nowhere to turn. Tir Dewi don’t pretend to have the answer to everything but often a chat is the first step to a solution.
A Freephone number is available between 07.00 and 22.00 every day and will be answered by someone who is ready to share your problems, whatever they are, however big or small. 0800 121 47 22
• Help to untangle your problems, help you to prioritise and then, we hope even help to resolve them.
• If more help is needed, they have a strong network of specialists from across aspects of farming
• Volunteers can act as an advocate, supporting you to communicate with those involved in your problems and even accompany you on meetings if it could help. This might include suppliers, customers, banks, finance companies or advisors.
The aim is to help you to see the best way forwards for you and to support you in taking the right steps to get there.
You don’t need any special skills, but ideally you will have a background in farming and an understanding and empathy towards farmers facing difficulties.
Applicants should have good listening skills, be patient, friendly and non-judgemental. Car drivers are an asset but not essential.
• To provide a listening ear to farmers and support them to understand and unravel their problems
• To work with farmers and potentially other partners to identify solutions that may help them to cope
• To staff our Freephone Helpline and Support Service
• To raise the profile of Tir Dewi through presence at events where farmers are likely to be e.g Livestock Markets, Shows, YFC, Unions
• To raise the profile of Tir Dewi through Social Media
All volunteers will be required to complete a membership application form, supply two references and have a DBS check (police check).
We are able to offer training in:
• Mental Health Awareness
• Rules and regulations of the Agriculture Industry
• Conducting Investigative Conversations
• Arrange a placement with ongoing support
• Introduce you to our Peer Mentors who will be able to offer you support when dealing with difficult cases
• Reimburse travel expenses
• Keep in touch through newsletters, meetings and social events
To find out more contact:
Mobile: 07483 418673
Free helpline number 0800121 4722