Farmers reminded of rural-based mental health support

A farming union has issued a reminder to farmers ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday 10 September
A farming union has issued a reminder to farmers ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday 10 September

Farmers have been reminded ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day that mental health support is widely available to those who may need it.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) reports that every year worldwide, over 800,000 people take their own lives.

The leading cause of death for people aged between 20 and 34 is suicide - and approximately, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), more than one agricultural worker a week in the UK takes their own life.

This year, farmers and those who work in rural areas may be suffering more than usual due to feelings of isolation and associated issues as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.



Rural communities are being reminded by the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) to 'stand side by side' with those suffering from poor health.

FUW President Glyn Roberts said: “These are difficult times we live in. Many farmers and those living in rural communities often find themselves working alone for most of the day or feel isolated.



"There are so many uncertainties, stresses, and worries, putting pressure on us that might leave us feeling that we can no longer cope.

“Sometimes those suffering from poor mental health don’t want to talk about the things that have them feeling the way they do.

"So if you notice that a loved one is sad, not quite themselves or withdrawn - reach out to them. Ask them how they are feeling, listen to them, and reassure them that these feelings can be overcome.

"Together we can make progress in preventing suicides but we must stand side by side and lose the stigma that sadly still clings on,” he added.

Organisations that offer help and support include rural-based charities such as the Farming Community Network, the DPJ Foundation and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.).