Three in four Brits feel overwhelmed by stress, new report shows

Mental health issues and extreme stress in the farming industry are often unnoticed by health professionals
Mental health issues and extreme stress in the farming industry are often unnoticed by health professionals

Three in four British people feel so overwhelmed by stress that they are unable to cope with everyday tasks, according to a new research.

The report looks at the prevalence of stress in the UK and its implications. It also focuses on what can be done to manage and reduce stress.

The survey found that over the past year, almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

The survey, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation and undertaken by YouGov, polled 4,169 adults in the UK in 2018.

Its release comes as the start of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week gets underway, which aims to get more people to come forward and discuss once-shunned illnesses that affect a large percentage of society.

But mental health issues in the countryside and farming industry can often become unnoticed by health professionals.

According to research by Plymouth University, four areas of concern identified by a study showed the barriers farmers face when suffering from mental health. This includes the farm environment, a reluctance to ask for help, support services and changing rural communities.

Increased levels of paperwork are becoming a "significant factor" in the growing number of farmers developing mental health issues, according to agricultural solicitors Kirwans.

However, rural-based charities such as the the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), the Farming Community Network (FCN) and the Addington Fund all aim to shine a light on this hidden issue.

Addington Fund

The Addington Fund provides homes for farming families who have to leave their farm and by doing so will lose their home.

In times of emergency, and where hardship prevails, Addington may be able to support a farm business through its Trustees' Discretionary Fund with a short term grant.

In certain counties the Fund may be able to accommodate farm workers through its Affordable Rural Housing Scheme.

Farming Community Network

The Farming Community Network is a UK network of volunteers from the farming community and rural churches.

FCN provides a Helpline and a visiting service to farming people and families who are facing difficulties.

FCN's volunteers provide pastoral and practical support for as long as it is needed, helping people to find a positive way through their problems. Callers to the Helpline who need FCN support are put in touch with a local volunteer.

A farmers wife from Devon said about FCN: "I never realised what help was available until FCN listened to my problems and signposted me to the support I needed. I only wish I'd called sooner."


R.A.B.I is a grant-making charity that provides confidential help to retired and working farming people in financial difficulty.

Support covers all ages and is tailored to the individual, including one-off and regular grants, replacing essential household items, funding for disability equipment, care home fees, relief farm staff and training grants to help people develop skills to bring in off-farm income.

A farming family from Yorkshire said about R.A.B.I.: "A big thank you to the Addington Fund and R.A.B.I for helping us with our housing and financial problems. One call made all the difference and gave us hope."

All three charities have teamed up to create a singular hotline, called Farming Help. It's website states: "Struggling to get by and not sure where to turn? Times can get hard for everyone but the good news is that farmers can reach three farming charities, with just ONE CALL."

Farming Help is open from 7am to 11pm. Call 03000 111 999 for confidential help, for all in the farming community.