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Supporting Field Nurse on Mental Health Awareness Week...

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 13-19 May 2019. Dugdale Nutrition are big supporters of Field Nurse and the wonderful work they do in the rural community. You can find out more about them below.

The Field Nurse Trust was set up in 2016 by a collective of local individuals with a common purpose of reducing the identified risks of physical and mental health of those living in rural areas. Since then the project has been going from strength to strength. Some of local individuals who set up the FN trust had previously worked within the rural community and had spent time travelling around working on rural isolated farms and very much recognised the need to support farmers.

The main aim of this project is to provide health advice to the rural community, signposting people to appropriate services. It is currently facilitated by experienced registered nurses and a health care assistant, through the medium of drop in clinics run in three local rural and agricultural auction markets.

The main aim of the project is to promote good health and prevent ill health. Providing basic health screening which includes blood pressure checks, eye tests, weight checks etc, with follow up as necessary.

They now have a mobile unit which they have been taking to various agricultural shows and events. FieldNurse have been running this project for approx one year and have carried out many audits of their work, all of which indicates a clear need for such a service.

One of the key focus areas for the Field Nurse project is mental wellbeing. In the farming community there is often a negative perception of mental health issues, which can create a barrier to accessing help. Rural isolation is very widespread amongst the farming population, farmers are more likely to have symptoms of depression due to a range of factors including financial hardship, ‘red tape’ and being geographically remote.

There is a reluctance in the farming community to access support and it is in the main largely therefore untreated. The Field Nurses spent time both at the auctions and at agricultural events speaking and supporting people who are living in rural isolation.

The Field Nurse team have tried to increase engagement with the hard to reach farming sector by spending time carrying out formal talks to young people about how important it is to have physical health checks and how they can be supported with mental health illness, trying to decrease social isolation and suicide rates by raising awareness of mental health issues in rural communities. Field Nurse is very much helping to improve resilience and as they continue one of their main aims - to reduce social isolation with a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

You can find out more about Field Nurse by visiting their website by clicking here.

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