“Agriculture is a world of silent people, no one dares to speak out about their problems” | EUROtoday

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Gard was one of many first French departments to create, below the aegis of Prefect Marie-Françoise Lecaillon, a steering committee towards agricultural unrest and to arrange an Agri-Sentinelles community. “The objective is to coordinate as many active forces as possible and to equip, on the ground, volunteers capable of helping, spotting, or sounding the alarm in very worrying situations. It’s a monitoring of vigilance on our territory”explains Sébastien Ferra, the departmental director of territories and the ocean.

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The sentinels may be brokers of the Mutualité sociale agricole (MSA), native elected officers, spouses of farmers, but additionally farmers. “We said to ourselves that they were essential in this mission, to identify a phenomenon of degradation. In most cases, we are on the razor's edge. Fragility can quickly send the farmer and his entire operation into a downward spiral. They can undoubtedly help us with the identification work. »

In January 2023, Gard trains the first volunteers. One year later, the department has thirty-five sentinels on its territory and wishes to train another fifteen this year. This device made it possible to support “250 farmers with reinforced support”, explains Sylvie Soro, venture supervisor on the MSA, pillar of this steering committee. “The care is multidisciplinary. We can establish a diagnosis of the farm, offer respite assistance by sending a farm worker to the farm, for example, psychological monitoring, retraining assistance, etc..”

“React within a few days, or within a few hours”

The phenomenon impacts all of France. The agricultural world recorded 1.5 suicides per day in 2016, in accordance with the newest figures printed by the MSA, with 529 affiliated farmers who killed themselves. Suicide mortality among the many latter is 30.9% larger than different energetic individuals. They are additionally considerably extra affected by melancholy (13.6% of farmers and 19.1% of ladies farmers, in comparison with 6.4% of males and 13% of ladies, in accordance with the nationwide common).

So in Gard, the sixth poorest division in mainland France, in accordance with INSEE, and with a mean of two farmer suicides per 12 months, in accordance with the MSA, the sentinel community rapidly grew to become a precedence. “Since 2012, we already had experience, with a suicide danger prevention program, and we labored with the hospitals of Montpellier and Nîmescontinues Sylvie Soro. We don't simply discuss suicide, it's the discomfort that we need to perceive. »

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