The Daniel Picton-Jones Foundation ‘has a crucial role to play’ in breaking the stigma of farmers taking about struggling with their mental health, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has said.
The charitable Foundation is set to benefit from nearly £50,000 of Welsh Government funding, to allow it to extend its counselling service into North Wales.
The charitable foundation, which aims to support people in rural communities with poor mental health, especially men in the agricultural sector, was set up by Emma Picton-Jones in memory of her husband Daniel after he took his own life.
The funding will enable the Foundation to deliver free ‘Mental Health First Aid’ training to vets and feed firm reps. It is hoped this will teach them the ability to identify the signs of poor mental health quicker and signpost farmers to the best source of support in their local area.
The Foundation has already delivered this training to more than 150 individuals, including staff from many of the leading agricultural stakeholder organisations in Wales.
The funding will also enable the charity to extend it’ ‘Share the Load’ service, which provides 6 fully funded one-to-one counselling sessions within an individual’s own home, to counties in North Wales
Since being set up three years ago the Foundation has also extended its one-to-one 24-hour telephone support and counselling service from Pembrokeshire into Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Powys.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said:
“Working in the agricultural industry can be an incredibly rewarding and satisfying career, but it can also carry huge pressures and leave many feeling isolated and alone.
“With agriculture tragically carrying one of the highest rates of suicide, support provided from charities such as the DPJ Foundation have a crucial role to play in raising awareness of spotting those struggling with their mental health and sign posting them to where they can get the help they desperately need.
“Emma has shown incredible resilience in such tragic circumstances and it has been heart-warming to see the charity she has set up going from strength to strength. It has been a pleasure to learn about how her charity has not only changed but saved lives, helping break down the stigma of talking about mental health and raising awareness of the help that is available for those in need of it. I hope this funding can provide a welcome boost to the charity and allow it to reach more people across Wales.
Emma Picton-Jones said:
“We are extremely grateful for this financial support from Welsh Government which will enable us to expand our service and ensure the farming community of Wales is getting much needed support.
“The ability to be able to deliver the Mental Health First Aid across Wales will mean many people within the community will be more confident in supporting those with mental health problems and we can work together as a community to combat poor mental health. Thank you to Lesley Griffiths for her continued support with all we are trying to achieve.”