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Watch: Animator makes film to tackle the stigma around Welsh farmers’ mental health struggles

02 Oct 2022 2 minute read

Across the nations of the UK, more than one farmer a week takes their own life, and 80% of farmers believe that mental health is the biggest problem they face.

Now a young Welsh animator has put together a short film with the intention of encouraging farmers to reach out and ensure they get the support they need.

Called Rhannwch y Baich (share the load), the film follows the life of a farmer who is struggling with his mental health. Narrating the film, a series of farmers discuss their lived experiences with mental health.

The film by Osian Roberts, who comes from Llanerchymedd on Anglesey, was made as part of his MA course at the University of South Wales and follows an animated film about Tryweryn.

“Over the past few years, a dialogue has been opened about mental health in farming, I thought that through making the film, it might encourage others to also speak out,” Osian Roberts told Nation.Cymru.

“I come from Ynys Môn, and despite not being from a farming background myself, I believe we’ve all seen the effect mental health can have on our rural communites; especially over the past couple of years during covid.

“I decided on ‘Rhannwch Y Baich’ because I feel the film could help people. I hope that someday we can live in a world where people aren’t afraid to speak out. There shouldn’t be a stigma attached to mental health.

“If the film can help one person to speak out, I’ll be happy. I would like to thank the DPJ foundation for their support whilst working on the film. The work they do to help farmers is absolutely amazing. They were very helpful in creating the film.

“I hope to continue making animated shorts in the future. I think my next film will be another history-based film, like ‘Tryweryn’. My aim now is to secure funding for my next short film.”

The film includes music by Isla Jasmine Blake, guitar by Tom Mumford, violin by Eliza Burkitt and cello by Natalie Alfille-Cook.

More of Osian Roberts’ art can be found on his Instagram page.

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