DPJ: Tackling Farmer Depression

CSM EDITORIAL

This week we would like to highlight a new charity called the DPJ Foundation.

Agricultural contractor Daniel Picton-Jones from Pembrokeshire was just 34 and had two young children when he ended his life in July last year. His widow, Emma, who grew up on a dairy farm, said his death had been devastating and had brought into sharp focus a huge problem surrounding mental health problems among farmers and others who work in the industry. One of Daniel’s wishes was for other people to be helped in a way that he felt he couldn’t. So, from this the DPJ foundation was born.

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Daniel Picton Jones 

Country Squire Magazine has been running a campaign around Farmer Depression Awareness and sees the work that Emma and her team are doing at the DPJ Foundation as awe-inspiring.

Daniel suffered with mental health issues throughout his life. He was a caring, considerate and amazing man who always supported others. He was a great support system to many but was unable to seek the support he needed for his own problems.

Although she is struggling to come to terms with his death, Emma Picton-Jones is determined there must be a positive outcome and has set up the DPJ Foundation with a core focus on mental health awareness and training. The DPJ Team are involving people from across the agricultural sector, including vets, the farming unions and the Farm Liaison Service, training them to spot the signs of depression and other mental illness and suggest what support to offer.

As the DPJ Foundation recognises, “Mental health is a huge problem in men. A man in the UK will die by suicide every 1.68 hours, that is just over every 100 minutes. It is a particular problem in men in rural communities. Men in agriculture carry the highest rate of suicide than any other occupation – they are 3 times more likely to commit suicide. The DPJ foundation plans to start at the very beginning and support Young farmers and young people in agriculture and give them the tools and support they need to deal with mental health. We want to show that it is ok to talk and that the support is out there. We plan to break the stigma and get people talking about mental health in an open and honest way.”

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The DPJ Foundation Team

The DPJ Foundation, in association with the mental health charity Pobl Cymru, has highlighted how important it is to understand that there are often no signs to suggest someone is suffering mentally but in others there are, and these are mostly linked to changes in behaviour:

  • Is there a change in appearance? Someone who is usually smartly dressed might let their appearance go.
  • Changes to time-keeping and reliability. Breaking plans is a strong indicator if someone is usually reliable. An example in a farming situation is a person who is normally on time to milk the cows might start turning up late or not appear at all.
  • A reserved person might become more argumentative or an outgoing person withdrawn.
  • Increased attendance at the GP surgery under the pretence of a physical problem, but concealing mental issues.

The DPJ Foundation has a website here where news of upcoming events, such as a Charity Golf Day, Summer Ball and Gauntlet Run can be found. There is a contact page on the website which you can use if you wish to enquire with the DPJ Foundation Team about making donations.

Country Squire Magazine fully recommends the DPJ Foundation and we take our hats off to brave Emma, family and friends who are doing Daniel proud as well as helping promote awareness of this subject which far too often, due to lack of awareness and support, ends tragically. Good luck DPJ and well done – keep up the good work.

Dear Readers, Please support them.

 

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