TO MARK Mental Health Awareness Week, the Scottish Association of Young Farmers has launched a new rural well-being hub as part of its on-going ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign – alongside free mental health first aid training courses.

Members are encouraged to check out the new hub ‘Are Ewe Aware?’ on the main SAYFC website for the latest information and advice about looking after your mental health and spotting warning signs in others.

The hub will offer young farmers easy access to services and information, for a better understanding on the various types of support and guidance available across the rural sector.

“Young Farmers as a network always strive for their members to feel comfortable in voicing their opinions, however when the conversation turns to mental health, it often strikes individuals as being too personal to discuss,” said SAYFC chief executive, Penny Montgomerie.

“We hope the hub provides easy links to various organisations who can help advise anyone requiring support.”

The new hub will also provide a platform for various organisations and campaigns, such as RSABI, Agrespect and Farm Safety Foundation, to share advice, information and stories via blogs, vlogs and photos.

Included on the hub is the new ‘I am Not Alone’ SAYFC stories portal, which will provide some examples from fellow members about their experiences of poor mental wellbeing in the past, highlighting their diagnosis, their journey through their darkest moments and their progression and relapse phases.

There is also a page called ‘I’m Ready…and want to gain help’ which is dedicated to signposting members on where they can go to receive both initial support, to the need to speak to someone urgently in crisis. Profiles of organisations include RSABI, SAMH, Gay Farmer, Survivors of Bereavement By Suicide, Breathing Space, Samaritans, SANE, The Farming Community Network, SHOUT, Prevention of Young Suicide and The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust.

As well as this new information hub, young farmers will soon be able to sign up for fully-funded training courses in mental health first aid. The two-day training course is run by the Scottish Mental Health First Aid Programme, supported financially by both the ‘Are Ewe Okay?’ campaign and The Willie Davidson 75th Fund, and will offer basic general information about mental health problems, going some way to normalising conversations around mental health and tackling the stigma within farming.

The knowledge and understanding developed in the course will help young farmers recognise when fellow farmers are struggling and give them the tools and confidence to be able to approach a person in distress.

“Mental Health First Aid is an initial response to distress and all participants are made aware that these types of response, in support to someone, is given only until other suitable or professional help can be found,” Ms Montgomerie concluded.

To find out more information on SAYFC’s new rural well-being hub visit -