YFC members across Staffordshire have been taking care of their mental health ahead of this year’s Mind Your Head campaign (10-14 February).
Mind Your Head is organised by leading farming charity The Farm Safety Foundation and aims to encourage the farming community to stop and think about their physical and mental wellbeing.
YFCs in Staffordshire have been holding awareness evenings, designed specifically for rural young people to help them understand the factors that can cause rural isolation and how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions.
The sessions, called Rural+, have been developed by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) with the support of The Farming Community Network (FCN), for YFCs to deliver during a club meeting.
The evenings have been very well received by everyone who attended. Gez Lowndes, Staffordshire YFC Development Committee Chairlady and also a member of Ashley YFC said “WOW is all I can say regarding the Rural+ session! I feel this has really helped spread the word across our clubs here in Staffordshire…We have around 30 members out of over 100 people which have received the training who have suffered with their own mental health! I am one who has received the training, suffered and been there to support others! I feel it has helped others and definitely helped me!”
Julia Taylor, County Organiser for Staffordshire YFC and Polly Baines, past County Chairman have delivered the evenings alongside representatives from FCN. The charity are the first port of call for pastoral and practical support of all those in need in the farming community, with a particular focus on farmers and farming families.
Julia Taylor said “It has been very worthwhile and rewarding delivering these evenings to the members. Many of those who attended felt able to be open about their own experiences and share advice. Others were able to talk about the many different types of mental health issues and what the signs to look for are. With the everyday pressures placed on young people living and working in rural communities today, Rural+ is an essential part of the youth work that Staffordshire YFC provides to its members.”
Staffordshire YFC provides a vast programme of competitions, social events and training opportunities for young people to get involved in, which contribute to their positive wellbeing on a regular basis as well as forming friendships which can last a lifetime.