the appetite for better rural mental health: you are not alone

Think of the many ways we choose and use food: to celebrate or to comfort with, to congratulate or commiserate, and certainly to cement our connections with colleagues, friends, and family. That is why, as YANA, we are delighted to take our place among these pages of producers, purveyors and servers of delicious foods and drinks. 

Heads up on why YANA’s work matters
YANA’s priority is to help sustain the mental health of those working in the countryside. Because here’s the thing: we can all do much better at looking after ourselves or those we care about when it comes to good mental health.

Our beautiful and productive countryside conceals a painful truth: many of those living and working in rural areas suffer with depression or other symptoms of poor mental health. The financial, physical, and mental pressures of growing crops, rearing livestock, or working in all the businesses that supply and service agriculture, can overwhelm. That’s where YANA steps in.

Three ways we make a difference
YANA has three very important ingredients in our work. Firstly, we provide confidential support and counselling. A call to our helpline
0300 323 0400 will reach someone who can give practical help and arrange sessions with one of our counsellors who know the reality of rural life and work.

Secondly, we build understanding of mental health. Our website explains the causes and symptoms to look for in ourselves and in those we care about. It also gives a plan of action to take. Our leaflets, suicide prevention cards, stickers, banners and more all give clear advice and reassurance: YANA is by your side.

Thirdly, we invest in Mental Health First Aid training. Every rural business has a first aid kit to hand. Why should there not be an equivalent kit for mental health? So far, we have provided training for more than 170 agricultural and other professionals in the skills to give mental health support when it’s needed to their colleagues, friends or family members. 

Sustained by fantastic support
We have supporters who run, cycle, swim or drive to raise money for our work. Many of our fundraisers bring the joy of good food to their efforts. We cannot do without them. 

But everyone can play a part, sharing the facts that there are many ways to improve poor mental health. That’s why we want YANA information in every rural business in East Anglia. Can you help with that?

We’ll be back here in nourish to introduce you to East Anglian farmers and growers bringing you fresh flavours of the season and to show the tasks to get them to your table. We will also ask them to share what they and their teams do to look after their mental health.

That is all to look forward to. In the meantime – to discover more about what we do, why and how – do visit our website where you’ll find more of our story and help we extend to you.  

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