Mental Health in Farming – Who Cares?

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Charity perform a social experiment to discover whether people would step up to address farming's mental health challenge  


  • 95% of UK farmers under the age of 40 rank poor mental health as one of the biggest hidden problems facing farmers today, a recent study by the Farm Safety Foundation reveal


  • The latest Office of National Statistics * figures showed 36 suicides were registered in England & Wales among the farming and agricultural industry in 2021 


What if you were enjoying a day out at an agricultural show and saw a young farmer standing blindfolded carrying a sign saying “95% of young farmers in the UK say that poor mental health is the biggest hidden danger in the industry. If you agree, give me a hug or take a flower.”

What would you do?

farmer struggling with mental health

Leading rural charity the Farm Safety Foundation (Yellow Wellies) did just that at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair and filmed the candid reactions of passers-by which can be seen in a new hero film released today for the charity’s 2024 Mind Your Head campaign.


The charity engaged farm safety ambassador, Daniel Boomer, to be the star of this year's hero film. Six-foot-tall Northern Ireland young farmer Daniel has lost several close friends to suicide and has been working with the charity to increase knowledge and awareness of poor mental health at his university Harper Adams as well as beyond.


According to Daniel: “The biggest thing pushing me that day was the thought that, if I can stand in the middle of a crowd, blindfolded, in darkness but still be able to reach out and seek the warmth of people’s love and support then you can as well. I liked the idea that the blindfold symbolised mental health and every time I received a hug or someone said hello to me, I felt seen and connected. The blindfold didn’t feel so tight and the light soon came through.”


Farming in the UK has been hit by increased flooding, drought, and heatwaves in recent years. The effects of the relentless season of storms have had huge consequences for those whose lives and livelihoods depend on the land. Fields flooded, crops destroyed and animals in danger have made recent headlines but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The UK’s farming industry has faced many challenges over the past few years but the emerging mental health challenge may prove the most devastating.  


In an industry that continues to have the poorest safety record of any occupation in the UK, making sure farmers are prioritising their physical and mental well-being has never been more important. 21* farm workers lost their lives in farm accidents in 2022/2023, however, there were 36** suicides registered in England and Wales by those working in the farming and agricultural industry in 2021 according to the Office of National Statistics. 

farmers uniting together to raise awareness on mental health in farming

This week, the charity will be focusing on the issue through their seventh annual Mind Your Head campaign. The campaign will continue to raise awareness of the various challenges facing the UK’s farming industry, break down the stigma attached to poor mental health in the farming sector and recognise that steps are being taken to address it.


Stephanie Berkeley, Manager of the Farm Safety Foundation said: “Mind Your Head launched in 2018 when concerns about Brexit, policies, administration and legislation were causing increased anxiety in the industry. Fast forward seven years and the campaign has grown and is now recognised by 67% of farmers in the UK. Mental health is always a sensitive subject but it’s something that is thankfully growing in importance and profile. The answer to the question “Who cares?” is everyone – and everyone should.


Agriculture is a proud and hardworking industry and vital to the UK economy. Far from being downtrodden, the UK’s farmers are resilient and resourceful and committed to finding ways to tackle any challenge they face. Over the years we’ve been encouraged by the growing numbers of farm businesses and organisations wanting to learn more about how to help their workers and suppliers as well the incredible individuals taking steps to improve their mental well-being and, in this year’s campaign, we will be highlighting them and hopefully inspiring many more to do the same.”


For more information on the Mind Your Head campaign please visit or follow them on social media - @yellowwelliesUK on Facebook, Instagram and X using the hashtag #MindYourHead 


Check out the full video here:


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