Rural charity RSABI says it is open for business and ready to offer financial, practical and emotional support to farmers and crofters across Scotland.
The charity says it is gearing up to offer additional support to farming and crofting families who are not only sharing the widespread public concern about coronavirus, but also dealing with the long hours and stresses of calving, lambing and other spring work.
It has issued a reminder to the agricultural industry that its free and confidential helpline continues to remain fully operational, and also urged farmers to make an effort to find time to talk to each other.
“On farms up and down the country at this time of year families are working very long hours to ensure animals are well looked after and spring work is done,” said RSABI welfare manager, Mags Granger.
“They are delivering vital work to help provide food but too often they forget to look after themselves properly at this stressful and tiring time of year.”
She urged everyone to look out for one another and make an effort to call to check on an elderly or vulnerable friend, neighbour or family member.
“Even small gestures of kindness could make a very big difference to the outlook of an anxious person living on their own,” added Ms Granger.
“We have taken the decision to increase the frequency of the calls we are making to people we know could be lonely or in need of practical help with things like getting groceries to their homes.”
Ms Granger also reminded farmers to remain vigilant for signs of stress and poor mental health in friends and family, and not to ignore any signs such as someone being grumpier than usual, reluctant to answer the phone, or drinking more alcohol than usual.”
RSABI’s helpline, 0300 111 4166, is open every day from 7am–11pm.