Farmer’s blog helps with mental health

Graham Cooke, Rural Support mentor; Jude McCann, Chief Executive, Rural Support; Patrick Cudney, Extension Director, Michigan State University; Adam Watson, BDG host; Zara Morrison, CAFRE Adviser.
Graham Cooke, Rural Support mentor; Jude McCann, Chief Executive, Rural Support; Patrick Cudney, Extension Director, Michigan State University; Adam Watson, BDG host; Zara Morrison, CAFRE Adviser.

Adam Watson milks 120 cows along with his father, on their farm near Coleraine.

Back in 2016 Adam struggled with the stresses and pressure of a falling milk price and other life issues that were having not only an effect on the family business but on his own health.

When it all got too much Adam was pushed to a point where he considered taking his own life but thankfully with help from his wife and family he is now in a better place.

During Mental Health Awareness week Adam published a daily blog to explain his experience of living with depression and to provide a better understanding and encourage people to talk about their own mental health with others. It was during that week that he decided he wanted to share with his own Business Development Group (BDG).

The Coleraine BDG recently met for a barbecue at Adam’s where, along with CAFRE Dairy Development Adviser Zara Morrison, Adam outlined to the group how he now copes with the stresses and pressures of dairy farming. Adam explained that he tries to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and exercise, as well as continued social interaction.

Jude McCann, Chief Executive of Rural Support and Graham Cooke, a Rural Support mentor both gave a background into the work of the organisation. They detailed how it helps farmers with a range of issues including financial problems, inheritance planning and physical and mental health concerns.

Throughout the meeting there was lively discussion relating to mental wellbeing and how stress can be relieved, as well as how to approach someone that may have a problem. If you have been affected by any issues, contact Rural Support on: 0800 138 1678.