The pressures of farming and working in rural businesses

Today, people in working in agriculture and other rural businesses have to deal with many common pressures

  • Uncertainty – Brexit, food imports, staffing worries
  • Financial issues – borrowings and poor return on capital
  • Increased regulation
  • Irregular weather patterns
  • Animal diseases
  • Marketing produce
  • Family expectations and succession planning
  • Workplace isolation
  • Lack of respite from work

These are just some of the factors that can result in poor mental health, feelings of low mood, and prolonged stress. Other causes include a bereavement, relationship problems, childhood experiences or a family pre-disposition to depression.

Common symptoms of stress and poor mental health

Stress and depression are very common amongst agricultural and rural communities.

There are many signs including:

  • Low mood (sadness, frequently tearful or unable to cry)
  • Anxiety – worrying obsessively, or out of proportion to the problem
  • Changes in appetite (loss of appetite or increased appetite)
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Lack of energy/feeling tired
  • Reliance on alcohol
  • Lack of interest in family and friends
  • Unable to enjoy hobbies as before
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Confused thinking, poor concentration and difficulty in making decisions
  • A change in personality (such as uncharacteristic aggression)
  • Negative thoughts

You Are Not Alone

If you, or someone you care about, experiences some of these symptoms, remember You Are Not Alone in feeling this way. You will be surprised at just how many people recognise these feelings because they too have felt them.

Talk to friends, colleagues or your doctor. You will find help, support, empathy and understanding.