On the death of his father and grandfather, Paul - the eldest of five children but only 16 - wanted to leave school and take over the farm.

“I explained our support over the phone, but when you are that emotional it’s hard to take in information.”

So explained Caroline Redmond, the Embrace Farm first point of contact when families get in touch with the charity. She continued: “I went to meet the family and [the man’s] eight-year-old son was curled up in his chair. Mam said, ‘It was only two weeks ago he was sitting in that chair.’”

In the space of a month, the children had lost the two most prominent male figures in their lives, but it was Paul who was carrying the weight of the farm.

“Paul came in from school, and - still in his uniform - put on his boots, saying; ‘I have to move cattle.’ He went from schoolboy to all of a sudden thinking, ‘I’m in Dad’s shoes now, I have work to do.’”

Strong-minded and all business and talk of the farm, he was afraid to lose control. Through Embrace’s ‘Encircle’ programme, Caroline ensured the agri advisors that guided the family on the farm practicalities involved Paul in every step of the process. Reassurance that the farm was not going to fall down saw Paul stay in school.

Caroline said that you could see the weight on this young man’s shoulders and, although his mum was trying to alleviate that, he was standing firm in what he felt were his responsibilities as the eldest. This stress, sense of responsibility and male farmer mental health have been researched by Teagasc. In particular, they have researched how masculinity in a farming context is linked to the perception of being hard-working, often prioritizing farm work over self-care. Earlier research explored the perception of “the good farmer” and the sense of self-worth attributed to ‘self-reliance, combatting adversity and suppressing emotions’.

Katherine, this week, writes about the impact of a long illness and death of a friend through suicide on his family, their community and her own emotions.

When historical societal expectations are factored in, I think it is reasonable to suggest that in some areas, men have not ‘had it all’. I fell into an “all” conversation with our Desperate Farmwife this week, having read her bold statement that millennial mothers were told “a big, fat lie” about it being possible for women to have it all. While not disagreeing, the matter is nuanced in that it really depends on what a person considers “all” to be. The dictionary definition says: “whole, entire, total, including everything or everyone without exception”.

In my view, in today’s world, we are mostly limited by time. And as time is something that impacts both sexes, a man’s “all” can be as limited as a woman’s. It is the great trade-off in terms of what you prioritise. My view is with respect to the physically limiting factors that prevented other generations of women [that didn’t impact men] from achieving their own personal “all”. Those being: standing for election, owning land, the marriage bar, not being in control of their own reproductive health – the list goes on and on. One big difference between this generation of women and previous generations is that many in our society have the power and opportunity to choose what their own all looks like. But not “all” women do, so the work continues.

And men? Until the perception of masculinity is not linked with the suppression of emotions, they can’t have it all either.

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Better data needed on sudden farm deaths

Editorial: Further education and research need to have an impact