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New mental health film trailer launched

Tuesday 06 April 2021

A tractor alone on the field
A new film looking at mental health in the farming community is being made in collaboration with RGU and the trailer is now available to view.

The film is called “Unearthing Farming Lives” and the new trailer can be viewed via YouTube.

The main film will be launched and available for viewing in late May/early June to tie into the farming calendar and will highlight the hidden mental health issues which exist within the farming, and wider agricultural industry.

Directed and released by Pink Sphynx Media, the production is the brainchild of several organisations in the North East of Scotland: National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland, Robert Gordon University (RGU), Samaritans and Aberdeenshire Council.

Stephanie Morrison, Lecturer in Public Health at RGU, said: “The opportunity to collaborate with NFU Scotland and the farming community regarding the importance of good mental health and wellbeing is a key message of the film recognising how communities and connection to others are an important source to sustain mental health and wellbeing.”

NFU Scotland’s North East Regional Chair, Alan Simpson, welcomes the launch of the trailer and says: “Many of us are well aware of fellow farmers who are silently suffering from mental health challenges. The stress and strains suffered by themselves, and sometimes their loved ones too, is unbelievable. We need to help the farming community by more outwardly promoting the message that it is brave to speak out and ask for support.

“There are many organisations and experts who are available to help, but the sufferer needs to find a way to summon up courage to ask for their aid. This film will help shine a light upon the mental health status of our farming industry.”

Samaritans’ Aberdeen Director Elaine Mottram adds: “We are very pleased to be involved in this collaborative venture to raise awareness of the importance of emotional health and wellbeing in the farming community. Samaritans are here 24/7 on freephone 116123 for anyone feeling distressed. We urge those who might need us, not to wait until they are in a crisis but to call so that we can support them and hopefully help prevent a crisis.”  

NFU Scotland's North East Regional Manager Lorna Paterson explains: “By raising awareness and focusing upon some of the common mental health issues, and observing the participants within the film, it is hoped that audience members will quickly recognise many of the symptoms described, as well as better understand some of the causes which create these symptoms.

“The film will draw upon the participants’ experiences, and most importantly, help guide viewers on where and how to access help if they are aware of colleagues who are suffering, or indeed if they themselves require support. By ensuring this film reaches schools, we hope to help inform young people, and so destigmatise the negativity associated with admitting to depressive thoughts and emotions.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Cultural Development Officer for the Live Life Arts & Heritage Team Leader, Sheila Waterhouse says: “This film will help set the scene for some practical, arts-related farming projects which we plan to launch in tandem with NFU Scotland in July. These will help address mental health issues for the agricultural and wider rural sector.”

Erin Smith, Founder of Pink Sphynx Media adds: “I am very grateful to have been chosen to work with the team on such an important subject.  I have found this film-making experience highly interesting, educational, insightful and enjoyable.  After visiting the local farms and meeting NFU Scotland members, I have really had my eyes opened to just how important it is for this message to get out to the wider communities.”

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