The project aims to reduce stigma, increase knowledge on the issues and build capacity to deal with the issues – for the Farming Community in Dumfries & Galloway!
In 2016 the Health and Wellbeing team that is part of the Public Health Directorate in Dumfries and Galloway. Suicide and poor mental health was highlighted as being issues in the Farming community nationally and with Dumfries and Galloway being Rural and having nearly 7000 agricultural workers, including spouses and occupiers. This equates to approx 10% of the national agricultural workforce in the regional.
A Glasgow University student on placement produced a report on the background and gave use valuable baseline data on the issues being faces locally.
The Report was completed in 2016 and from this report we decided to take a Community Development approach to ask what the Farming community wanted and how best to deliver it. the partners that formed the group are:- National Farmers Union Scotland, Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RSABI), Young Farmers Club Association, SRUC, Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET), DG Health & Wellbeing Strategic team, Stewartry Locality Health & Social Care ….wider partners Dairy Women’s Network, Rugby Club,
Some of the issues raised included:-
The official launch happened at Dumfries Show in 2017 with support from local politicians;
The project delivered a Breathing Space mental wellbeing event at the SRUC Barony College near Dumfries which was attended by 120 students in January 2019.
SafeTalk training has been delivered to local groups.
A local rugby club has been piloting a wellbeing app that record performance and mental wellbeing to help promote the link between mental and physical health
Healthy Working Lives workplace health presentation has been delivered to the Dairywomen’s Network as part of a regular meeting they hold.
Presentations have been made Regional Young Farmers meetings promoting local support available and asking for ideas to better engage.
A Suicide prevention video clip was produced locally with members of the local farming community and shared through social media to target different groups.