Young farmers are being encouraged to take time to manage their mental wellbeing by using new resources launched by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) during Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
The Take Time toolkit is sponsored by Tama and is being championed by NFYFC’s Youth Forum during a week-long campaign from 18-24 May, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week.
The United Nations has recently warned of the possibility of a global mental health crisis following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
As isolation is already a major issue for rural young people, NFYFC was eager to build on its Rural+ work that was delivering mental health awareness sessions to Young Farmers’ Clubs across England and Wales. Clubs have been closed since the middle of March due to Covid-19 restrictions, meaning members are no longer meeting with friends or getting access to Rural+ sessions or resources.
It is hoped the online Take Time toolkit will tackle some of the issues young rural people are currently facing. There are seven Take Time sections that each provide advice for YFC members on ways they can improve their mental wellbeing. Members of the Youth Forum have recorded tips to share throughout the week on social media to encourage their peers to stop and think about their own mental health during the current global crisis.
Youth Forum Chairman, Ruth Cooper from Cumbria FYFC, said it was more important than ever that YFC members took time to look after their mental health.
“Lockdown in the UK brought a devastating blow to the YFC life we are used to, and it has been affecting all of us in different ways.
“Many clubs have been hosting virtual meetings, quizzes and fundraisers, which is great but we know they are not the same as physically socialising with friends. The added pressures we are all facing due to changes to education, work, family and social lives are immense.
“Take Time is aimed at encouraging YFC members to take care of themselves and to understand that their mental health matters as much as their physical health. It’s also our opportunity to show the power of the YFC community. We need to look after ourselves and be there for our friends and family. Not everyone will be doing ok, which is why we need to keep talking about this and show that together, we are joining in and creating opportunities to keep our mental health, healthy!”
The Youth Forum will be asking everyone to share their stories and images during the week, using the hashtag #YFCTakeTime.
The timetable for the week is as follows:
Monday – Take time to keep connected
Tuesday – Take time to observe
Wednesday – Take time to keep active
Thursday – Take time to do something for you
Friday – Take time to do something for others
Saturday – Take time to take a break
Sunday – Take time to try something new
Urgent contact information and resources for anyone who is facing a mental health crisis are also available in the toolkit, which is all hosted on the NFYFC website here: http://nfyfc.org.uk/TakeTime/TakeTime