A NEW mental health film looking specifically at challenges within the farming and wider agricultural community is being launched on Wednesday, June 16.

'Unearthing Farming Lives' will examine some of the most common causes of mental health problems, as well as their potential solutions.

The film has been directed and released by Pink Sphynx Media, and is the brainchild of several organisations in the North East of Scotland, including NFU Scotland, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeenshire Council, and Samaritans.

The film aims to highlight the hidden mental health issues which exist within the agricultural industry to a wide-ranging audience, including fellow farmers and their staff, the broader agricultural supply sector, educational establishments, and politicians.

NFUS president Martin Kennedy is chairing the launch event which will be followed by a Q and A panel session. Panel members include – North East farmers Kevin Gilbert and Tom Johnston; deputy regional director for Samaritans Scotland, Elaine Mottram; lecturer in Public Health at Robert Gordon University, Stephanie Morrison; Aberdeenshire Council’s cultural development officer, Sheila Waterhouse; founder of Pink Sphynx Media, Erin Smith; and NFUS north east regional manager, Lorna Paterson.

NFUS north east regional chair Alan Simpson commented: “I am well aware of how much time, effort, and energy has been invested by my fellow farmers Kevin Gilbert and Tom Johnston, among others, who have helped create this production.

“The panel members for the launch event are top drawer, and the Q and A session following the film screening will allow everyone to share their opinions and stories. This will enable us to better communicate these important messages to press colleagues, policy makers, politicians, and anyone else who genuinely wants to help address this increasingly serious situation”.

Ms Paterson added: “Mental health is just like physical health – we can all struggle with ailments and pain. However, most of us find it difficult to admit when our mental health is suffering. This film can really help drive change and allow everyone, including young people, to see that it is normal to have low moods sometimes, and that it is brave to admit this and seek help.”

For those looking to attend the event should register for free at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__MckzyxBSmqmxba1lO-s9g