A parliamentary committee has launched an inquiry into the mental health challenges faced by farmers and others who work in rural areas.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) will today (21 June) discuss suicide prevention and the NHS in rural areas at a public evidence session.
Charities, public health professionals and NHS representatives will provide evidence at the session, which forms part of EFRA's wider Rural Mental Health Inquiry.
The inquiry was set up to explore the specific mental health challenges faced by people living and working in rural communities.
Today's first panel, with representatives from the voluntary and public health sectors, will look at suicide amongst farm workers, practical approaches to suicide prevention, as well as national and local policy.
The second panel will explore how the local NHS plans and delivers mental health services for rural communities, as well as any challenges around funding and the provision of access to appropriate services.
Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and the Border, and member of EFRA, said mental health in rural areas was 'such as an important subject area'.
"Rural areas face immense and often unique pressures and it is hoped that our inquiry will shine a light on these issues and allow us to make recommendations to government to support our rural communities.”