The farming industry is one of five sectors being targeted in a new mental health campaign by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The regulator said its Working Minds campaign aims to help businesses understand the triggers of stress, their legal duty as employers, and how to manage risks.
It said mental health issues are the number one reason given for sick days across the UK economy, and last year more than 17 million working days were lost as a result of stress, anxiety or depression.
“Work-related stress and poor mental health should be treated with the same significance as risks of poor physical health and injury,” HSE chief executive, Sarah Albon.
“No worker should suffer in silence and if we don’t act now to improve workers’ mental health, this could evolve into a health and safety crisis.”
She added: “The pandemic has highlighted the need to protect the health of employees who have faced unprecedented challenges; the Government is committed to building back better and we want to make sure good mental health is central to this.
“Our campaign is focused on giving employers a clear reminder of their duties while championing reducing work-related stress and promoting good mental health at work.”
Partners involved in the campaign include the rural safety charity, the Farm Safety Foundation.
The charity’s manager Stephanie Berkeley said: “Physical and mental health need to have equal air-time because they’re so importantly linked.
“We know from our research that for 92 per cent of young farmers poor mental health is the biggest hidden danger in farming today and that’s why we’re joining up with the Health and Safety Executive on this very valuable campaign.”
More information about the Working Minds campaign is online at www.workright.campaign.gov.uk/working-minds.