Echoes of Agriculture project to help farmers struggling with mental health issues

The calming effect of farm life sounds could be used to help improve people’s health and wellbeing and now farmers in Cornwall are being asked to contribute to a new project with their own sounds of the countryside.

Echoes of Agriculture is a brand new programme specifically designed to help people living and working in agriculture in Cornwall to manage stress and anxiety and build their resilience by listening to sounds which are associated with positive memories and happiness.

The project is the brainchild of Justin Wiggan who discovered the calming effects of listening to familiar sounds when going through a very challenging period in his own life 10 years ago.

Having lost his sight in his early teens, Julian believes his experience showed him the importance of using sound as a tool to promote creativity and mental well-being. Since then Justin has successfully used his ground breaking programme in schools, hospitals, prison and homeless charities across the country.

Now living in Cornwall, Justin was shocked when he saw how many people in farming and those living and working in rural communities across the county were struggling with their mental health.

He said: “By inviting people to share the sounds of agriculture that improve their sense of wellbeing and capturing them for our project, we can create a soundscape which will help them to redirect negative emotions and enter a state of calm.”

The Farming Health Hub has been working with Justin and Fairwinds to encourage local farmers to share their favourite sounds of agriculture.

The Hub, the first of its kind in England, is new concept where organisations from the private, public and voluntary sectors join together to provide advice, support and guidance to farming communities in local venues, such as livestock markets and pop up venues rather than farmers and their families having to visit more formal environments.

Jon James, chief executive of the Farming Health Hub said: “We know that many people in Cornwall’s farming communities struggle with their mental health but do not seek help.

“This is a great project which has the potential to make a real positive difference to people’s daily lives.

“We need as many people as possible to come forward and share the agricultural sounds which have positive and happy memories for them with us so we can create a soundscape which everyone can use.”

Source: In Your Area