The Scottish Government has awarded £200,000 to rural charity RSABI.
Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said the funding would help the charity provide support to individuals and their families working in the rural sector.
“With the nature of rural life often meaning that individuals and their families can feel isolated at a time of need, it is absolutely vital that there is support available,” said Mr Ewing.
“By providing this additional funding to RSABI, they will be able to continue to ensure the wellbeing of our rural communities by providing emotional, practical and financial support to those who need it.”
He encouraged anyone in need to seek help and take advantage of services offered by organisations like RSABI.
“Having listened to various individual stories over recent months, I know the most important thing someone can do when faced with any form of hardship is to put their hand up and say ‘I need help’,” added Mr Ewing.
“With rural communities and businesses facing significant uncertainty, I would encourage anyone who may feel they are struggling not to suffer in silence.
“It is absolutely OK not to be OK over the Christmas period.”
RSABI chief executive, Nina Clancy, welcomed the funding and said: “Our thanks go to the Scottish Government for recognising the importance of the work we undertake.
“A key message from RSABI is the importance of recognising and acting on problems as soon as possible as early intervention can prevent a difficult situation deteriorating and becoming much harder to deal with at a later stage.”
Ms Clancy said the charity’s helpline – 0300 1114166 – had never been busier and it was vital the charity is able to step up its resources to respond to increasing demand.
She added: “This funding will go some way to helping us achieve this.”