Anxiety and depression

With such heightened anxiety about at the moment due to changes in the industry and the cost of living crisis, it’s important not to bottle things up. FCN volunteers are here to listen to anyone in the farming community who may be feeling anxious or depressed, call our helpline to speak to one of our dedicated volunteers on 03000 111 999 or email

Farming and Better Mental Health film

A new short film featuring two farmers openly discussing their experiences of mental ill-health and how seeking support helped them has launched this week.

In the short film – called ‘Farming and Better Mental Health’ and directed by Berno Vierbergen – former dairy and sheep farmer and FCN volunteer Nick Viney talks candidly to farmer Trevor Cligg from Pipplepen Farm in Dorset about their experiences of mental ill-health and the support they received.

Nick said: “We hope the short film encourages anyone in the farming community experiencing mental ill-health or dealing with other pressures on the farm to seek help early, talk about it and not be ashamed of how they’re feeling.”

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression are separate medical conditions referring to the mental wellbeing of someone.


Depression is the most common form of mental ill health in the UK, and can range from mild and occasional to severe. Depression is a real illness, not just “feeling down”. Symptoms include: feelings of extreme sadness or hopelessness, general lowering of mental and physical activity; inability to make decisions; disturbed sleep patterns; loss of appetite; delusional beliefs or morbid pre-occupations, and suicidal thoughts. For further information click here.


Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry and fear. Feeling anxious can be a regular and normal feeling during times of unease at certain points in life, however some people find it hard to control their anxiety where it takes over their lives on a daily basis. For further information click here.

Not every intrusive thought is signalling a legitimate reason to worry. Find out more from Mind about self care for intrusive thoughts and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder here

These resources are aimed at improving mental wellbeing:

NHS 5 steps to wellbeing

The NHS 5 steps to wellbeing are aimed at seeing a more positive outlook on life. This link connects you to the NHS website on improving mental wellbeing : 5 steps to mental wellbeing.

CHIME is a widely used acronym to describe and identify the factors that help in the recovery process of stress:

  • Connecting through personal relationships within the family and rural networks; e.g. Growmore Clubs, YFC, Monitor Farm Groups, village coffee meetings.
  • Hope –   a better life is possible;
  • Identity – a positive understanding of self and personal needs ;
  • Meaning and purpose; farming provides meaning, community links, taking part in local community activities. 
  • Empowerment; focusing on strengths and taking responsibility to do things for other people

SANE text service:

  • SANE is a charity, established to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness. The organisation runs a text service where you can sign up to receive text messages to your mobile, helping with emotional support and connection at the times you need it most. To sign up, click here.

‘Breaking Free from OCD’ – A book aimed at adolescents and their families guiding through self help ways of dealing with OCD through the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. If you know a young person who needs support. this could be the resource for you, click here to buy.

The BBC Down on the farm: Suicide, stress and farmers podcast discusses the rise in depression and stress within the farming community and solutions that are available to escape a state of poor mental health click here to listen.


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