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Mental health and the lonely harvest

Farming | Published:

The coronavirus pandemic has affected industries across the world, including those working in agriculture in the UK.

Tara Dickinson-Barry, Marketing and Outreach Officer at Farm491.

It has been well over 100 days since lockdown was imposed and now we are starting to see what the "new normal" looks like.

Farming grants and payments are starting to become available for those who have been affected and restaurants are opening their doors and placing food orders once again.

One industry that has carried on fairly unaffected is the farming sector, where lone working and isolation are commonplace, with farmers often working alone for days or weeks at a time.

The coronavirus outbreak has shown everyone the negative impact that loneliness can have on our mental health, just as the farming sector begins one of the most time pressuring and isolating times of year – harvest season.

We hope that following last week’s "Farm Safety Week" that conversations have opened up around the mental health of farm workers and their families, as well as looking at the physical and safety aspects of farm work.

Here are some useful resources: Farm Safety Foundation https://www.yellowwellies.org; NFU Farm Safety Partnership https://www.nfuonline.com/cross-sector/farm-business/farm-safety-partnership/

Tara Dickinson-Barry is Marketing and Outreach Officer at Farm491 which promotes agritech innovation and incubation

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