Why it’s not weak to speak

YNPA member Lee Thompson, a finishing fieldsman at Wayland Farms, explains why he is break the stigma held around mental health in farming

Flat White Chats started out as a podcast during lockdown, designed to break the stigma held around mental health.

I started it to share my own story – I’ve had my own mental health battles with PTSD, depression and a terrible relationship with food. By sharing this with others and being honest about my own life, it’s helped me to create this platform.

Along the way, I’ve been lucky enough to chat to some very interesting guests about their mental health journey and how they are overcoming their battles on a daily basis. 

The idea was to try and create an environment in which people feel comfortable to either talk to me or to others – to help them take a step and talk today, to create a new tomorrow. Mental health is something we don’t talk about openly and honestly enough.

Don’t get me wrong – by discussing your issues, you’re not going to be doing cartwheels down the street five minutes later thinking everything is solved. But by talking, you’ve taken the hardest and bravest step, opening up the next chapter in your life.

With the right support network and people around you, every day becomes easier and manageable. My initial tips to starting you journey are as follows:

Talk – find someone you feel comfortable to talk to. Whether that’s a friend or a professional.

A journal – writing down your day to day positives, including the small wins, and negatives, gives you something to look back on and see how far you’ve come.

Be present – take each day as it comes. Make plans for the future but enjoy what’s happening around you at that moment.

Self-love – make time to prioritise yourself! You’re still allowed bad days but don’t let them define your week.

The podcast has developed into a website, and I’ve also launched a line of T-shirts and tank tops with 100% of the profit going to FCN and the restart rugby campaign. These help support others who are suffering with mental health.

For anyone who feels they want to talk, my phone is always on, my email and social media inboxes are always available.

It’s not weak to speak!

To find out more see: www.flatwhitechats.com

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