A week-long initiative to promote the support available from farming charities launches on Monday.
Farming Help Awareness Week aims to showcase the services offered by five agricultural charities across the UK, including RSABI in Scotland.
The charities said the initiative is linked to the Farm Safety Foundation’s (FSF) Mind Your Head campaign, which this year focused on identifying the risk factors associated with living and working in agriculture, as well as highlighting the support available.
Welcome to the 4th annual Mind Your Head week. The past year has been challenging for everyone & farming is no different. Now, more than ever, we should look out for each other, look after each other and #MindYourHead 💛 https://t.co/3wBtpI6JOm pic.twitter.com/cBq9H82ypy
— Farm Safety Foundation (@yellowwelliesuk) February 15, 2021
The campaign, which ran this week, coincided with the publication of a FSF survey which found 88% of farmers under 40 rank poor mental health as the biggest hidden problem facing the industry.
The FSF also highlighted the suicide toll on the sector – statistics show 133 people in UK farming and associated agricultural trades took their own lives in 2019-20, 31 of them in Scotland.
RSABI’s welfare manager, Chris McVey, said he hoped Farming Help Awareness Week would encourage those going through a difficult time, or those who are concerned about a neighbour, family member or friend, to seek support.
“Farming Help Awareness Week is all about highlighting that support is out there for people in the agricultural community,” he said.
“RSABI supports people in Scottish agriculture, emotionally, practically and financially. I’d encourage anyone who is struggling to reach out and give our helpline a call on 0300 111 4166. We can provide a friendly, confidential listening ear and support to help you move forward.”