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Virtual webinars looking to keep nation’s agricultural workers fit to farm

Claire Lynch, RCS workplace wellbeing consultant

A community interest not-for-profit is teaming up with a national mental health charity to bring a series of free online workshops tailored for Welsh farmers to help them stay mentally and physically fit.

RCS, which helps people and businesses across North and West Wales improve health and wellbeing in the workplace, will be hosting four webinars focusing on the challenges faced by the nation’s agricultural workers and families.

The free bilingual seminars, which run from 7 to 13 July, are being held in conjunction with the DPJ Foundation, a charity which supports those in rural and agricultural communities with their mental health and wellbeing.

Each session will concentrate on a particular topic which will help anyone in agriculture navigate life’s ups and downs.  RCS has tailored the sessions to be specifically relevant to those working in agriculture and rural communities.

The first workshop on 7 July will look at menopausal awareness and how women and their families can identify the symptoms and access effective support in rural communities.

Additional events will focus on how farmers can improve their sleep, cope with stress, and develop the skills to stay mentally and physically fit to farm.

Training manager at the DPJ Foundation Kay Helyar said: “The last few years have been particularly challenging on the entire agricultural sector. Farmers are dealing with so many challenges outside of their control such as financial pressures from the rising cost of fuel, energy and feed and animal health issues like TB and Avian Flu.

“Farmers work long hours, 365 days a year, in all weathers and are often working alone, so looking after their wellbeing and still getting the farming job done is understandably more of a challenge.

“These sessions will offer practical advice to maintain wellbeing and raise awareness of the support available if people need it, taking into account the specific challenges faced by farmers. We are delighted to be working with RCS to address this through these webinars.”

The webinars, which will be available in Welsh and English and have recordings accessible after the event, will act as a first step into how rural communities can support wellbeing through small changes in a simple, straightforward manner.

Workplace Wellbeing Consultant at RCS Claire Lynch said: “Farmers are the backbone of the Welsh economy, but what often goes unmentioned in these communities is the impact the workloads can have on one’s emotional health.

“Addressing mental health is not a one size fits all approach, and we have built these webinars from the ground up to focus solely on serving the Welsh farming community and how we can best support needs in these areas.

“We are hopeful these workshops will provide insight and support as to what can be done practically to keep farmers mentally and physically strong as well as provide an entry point to those looking to broach the discussion around rural mental health.”

The four bilingual webinars will take place on:

  • July 7 from 10am to 11.30am focusing on menopause awareness
  • July 7 from 6pm to 7.30pm focusing on sleeping patterns
  • July 12 from 10am to 11.30am focusing on keeping mentally fit to farm
  • July 13 from 1pm to 2.30pm focusing on coping with stress