Although much information is still lacking, it is estimated that 17% of citizens in the EU countries suffered some type of mental health problem in 2016. Among the disorders, the most common was anxiety (5.4% of the population ), followed by depression (4.5%) and addiction problems (2.4%). In this context, 84,000 people suffered a premature death from suicide related to mental health problems. OECD, 2018), and the situation has worsened further with the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, farmers, due to the particularities of their profession, are exposed to different factors that can generate stress or anxiety, mainly linked to the great financial uncertainty of their activity, their social position and the difficulties in managing their family relationships in the professional field. Furthermore, data shows that farmers are five times more likely to abuse substances (Bush and Lipari, 2015) or to commit suicide (McIntosh et al, 2016) than the rest of the population.
The FARMRes project aims to make farmers aware of mental health problems and guide them in shaping their daily lives, business and personal environment. It is about raising awareness and preventing and detecting this type of problem, working on first aid with farmers, their families and their advisors.
The specific objectives of FARMRes are:
- Recognize the importance of mental health for the success of agriculture and for the well-being of farmers;
- Provide farmers, their families and farmer advisors and associations with the necessary tools to prevent, detect and help in case of potential or ongoing mental health problems;
- Promote the sustainable economic and social development of agriculture and rural areas.
To achieve these objectives, we will develop a training and sensitivity web application that will obtain, among other elements:
- Success stories from farmers in preventing and overcoming mental health problems related to stress at work;
- Training tools in mental health and well-being of farmers, with prevention, detection and first aid tools.