A RURAL mental health campaign telling farmers ‘Don’t Wrap Up’ this winter has been launched by NFUS, RSABI, and the Scottish Government.

The festive season in particular can be a hard time of year for many farmers, with the cold weather, short days, plus seeing everyone else get time off while they work, can all add up. That is why the ‘Don’t Wrap Up’ campaign is asking farmers, and those close to them, who might be suffering to open up and speak about their problems, as a trouble shared is a trouble halved.

Throughout this week December 18 to 22, NFUS, RSABI, ScotGov and other farming groups shared different social media content to get the word out on where someone can go if they do need help this winter.

NFUS vice president Gary Mitchell said: “Depending on your circumstances, any time of the year can be hard but in farming and agriculture, there are a number of factors that can present a risk to mental health at the year end.

“A bad autumn and winter can have long-lasting effects to a farm’s success, not to mention the other financial costs associated with Christmas. It can often be hard to see many people take time off at Christmas when you do a job that requires you to be there every day of the year, sometimes in the biting cold or pouring rain," said Mr Mitchell.

“If you think someone close to you may hurt themselves, you must speak to them straight away and ask them directly. Asking them directly if they need help can only make things better. Often an initial offer of support can make the world of difference. Seeking support from one of the many organisations out there who can offer professional advice can help you both deal with the issue in a supportive way.”