First Aid Tool

Tip Box

Warning Signs:

Be alert to signs of distress in farmers, such as poor performance, social withdrawal, or unusual emotional displays.

Approaching the Conversation:

If you notice a colleague’s distress, gently express your concern and offer to listen. Be patient; they might not want to talk immediately.

Listening and Responding:

When they open up, be a good listener. Offer undivided attention, be non-judgmental, and focus on their feelings. Use restatements to clarify messages and allow moments of silence.

Avoiding Clichés:

Stay away from clichés like “cheer up” or “pull yourself together.” These don’t help in connecting with the person.

Confidentiality and Duty of Care:

Respect their confidentiality, but if you believe they’re in a vulnerable situation, you have a duty to report. Discuss sharing information with family if necessary.


Reassure them that your door is always open. Offer to help them find support and seek advice from colleagues or appropriate sources.


Remember your limitations; you’re not a therapist. Establish boundaries while being supportive. Seek help if needed, ensuring your well-being too and keeping in mind that a diverse perspective is the key to understanding a farmer’s needs.