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New mental health film “Unearthing Farming Lives” launches next week

By David Porter

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Unearthing Farming Lives is a new film examining some of the most common causes of mental health problems, as well as their potential solutions, within the farming and wider agricultural community.

The film has been directed and released by Pink Sphynx Media, and is the brainchild of several organizations in the north-east including NFU Scotland, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeenshire Council, and Samaritans.

Unearthing Farming Lives aims to highlight the hidden mental health issues which exist within the agricultural industry to a wide-ranging audience, including fellow farmers and their staff, the broader agricultural supply sector, educational establishments, and politicians.

The film is launching on Wednesday, June 16 at 7pm via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__MckzyxBSmqmxba1lO-s9g .

NFUS President Martin Kennedy is chairing the launch event which will be followed by a Q&A panel session.

Panel members include: Farmers Kevin Gilbert and Tom Johnston; Elaine Mottram, deputy regional director for Samaritans Scotland; Stephanie Morrison, lecturer in public health at Robert Gordon University; Sheila Waterhouse, Aberdeenshire Council’s cultural development officer; Erin Smith, founder of Pink Sphynx Media, and Lorna Paterson, NFU Scotland North East regional manager.

NFU Scotland’s north-east regional chair Alan Simpson said: “I am well aware of how much time, effort, and energy has been invested by my fellow farmers Kevin Gilbert and Tom Johnston, among others, who have helped create this production.”

“The panel members for the launch event are top drawer, and the Q&A session following the film screening will allow everyone to share their opinions and stories.

"This will enable us to better communicate these important messages to press colleagues, policy makers, politicians, and anyone else who genuinely wants to help address this increasingly serious situation”.

NFU Scotland North East regional manager Lorna Paterson added: “Mental health is just like physical health - we can all struggle with ailments and pain. However, most of us find it difficult to admit when our mental health is suffering.

"This film can really help drive change and allow everyone, including young people, to see that it is normal to have low moods sometimes, and that it is brave to admit this and seek help.”

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