The DPJ Foundation celebrates four years of helping Welsh farmers to 'Share the Load'

emma picton-jones, mental health, DPJ Foundation  _58205

The DPJ Foundation is celebrating another milestone as the mental health charity’s 'Share the Load' service will have been operating for four years (on the 15 January).

Listening, supporting, and helping the people of Wales across the agricultural community, initially in Pembrokeshire and since Autumn 2019 throughout the whole of the country, The DPJ Foundation has provided counselling to more than 500 people.

Volunteers who are always there when needed

Share The Load is a 24/7 confidential call and text line with a free counselling referral service, specifically for those in Welsh agriculture. The DPJ Foundation prides itself on its non-judgmental, Samaritans-trained volunteers who are always there when needed. Share the Load is different to many helplines as it gives the option of fully funded professional counselling in English or Welsh to those who want it. 

Emma Picton Jones, who established the charity five and a half years ago, following her husband Daniel’s death by suicide said: “Never did I imagine that four years ago, the idea of providing free counselling to those in the agricultural community would have gone as far as it has. I am extremely proud of this service. To know that every farmer in Wales has access to free counselling, be that at home, on the farm or in the local area is something that we could have only ever dreamed of. I am so grateful to all of our wonderful volunteers who have provided hours of support on the call line over the last four years.

Confidential calls

“When we set up Share the Load, I was keen to ensure that callers knew their call was confidential. This is why we only ask for your first name and don’t ask for your address.  I also was aware of the long waiting times so am really proud that we guarantee access to free counselling within a week of someone making that call.

“Our counsellors are qualified professionals and can help with a wide range of issues.  We have specialists who have helped people struggling with bereavement, feeling alone, dealing with health issues or mental health problems as well as those who have been thinking of ending their own life.  We really have a tremendous team of volunteers, counsellors and staff and I am so proud of them all."

NFU Cymru President John Davies said:

"I'd like to congratulate The DPJ Foundation on reaching this milestone. The ongoing work this charity is doing is absolutely vital in our rural communities. Farming is a tough profession both physically and mentally and although it's a rewarding job, the long hours coupled with rural isolation can sometimes become overwhelming. Having a charity with a team of volunteers that understand the pressures of farming is paramount, and I applaud The DPJ Foundation for offering this bespoke service."

Dan's story

The DPJ Foundation is marking this anniversary by sharing stories that have been contributed by people they have helped across their social media.  One of these who asked to share their story is Dan. Dan said: “When my mental health was at its worst, I could not see a way out. I’ve had counselling and it’s been the best spent hours of my life. I’m in such a good place now I’m enjoying every bit of my family and work, sleeping well, and eating well.” 

If you have been helped by The DPJ Foundation and would like to use your story to help other people, they are asking you to get in touch with them by emailing a2F0ZUB0aGVkcGpmb3VuZGF0aW9uLmNvLnVr, calling 07984 169652 or sending a message on social media.

The DPJ Foundation are also calling for your help to spread the word about the 'Share the Load' helpline by displaying posters, leaflets, car, trailer, and bale stickers anywhere that you can. 

If you need help

If you need help, you can call them free on 0800 587 4262 or text them on 07860 048 799 (this number doesn’t accept calls). 

Last edited: 10:48 on 10 January 2022

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