New film unearths mental health problems of North-east farmers and agricultural workers

A new film launches this week examining some of the most common causes of mental health problems, as well as their potential solutions, within the farming and wider agricultural community.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:55 am
The official launch of ‘Unearthing Farming Lives’ – a film focussing on mental health problems in farming and agriculture – takes place tomorrow (Wednesday).

‘Unearthing Farming Lives’ 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.

It 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.

‘Unearthing Farming Lives’ is launching this Wednesday, June 16, at 7pm via Zoom.

NFUS president Martin Kennedy is chairing the launch event which will be followed by a Q&A panel session.

Panel members include North-east farmers Kevin Gilbert and Tom Johnston; Elaine Mottram, deputy regional director for Samaritans Scotland; Stephanie Morrison, lecturer in public health at Robert Gordon University; Sheila Waterhouse, Aberdeenshire Council’s cultural development officer; Erin Smith, founder of Pink Sphynx Media; and Lorna Paterson, NFU Scotland North East regional manager.

NFUS North East regional chair Alan Simpson said: “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."

Lorna 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.”

To register for the ‘Unearthing Farming Lives’ launch event, go to