Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Mental health study ramped up as Covid-19 struggles take toll on farmers

Farmers are encouraged to have their say on a research project regarding mental health.
Farmers are encouraged to have their say on a research project regarding mental health.

Academics have stepped up a study into the mental health of farmers amid fears that coronavirus struggles have had a devastating effect on agricultural workers.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the NHS are working with Scottish farmers to improve mental wellbeing across the industry.

The study was launched last year after studies showed that, on average, one farmer commits suicide every week in the UK.

Those behind the project now fear farmers are facing additional hardship due to Covid-19 and are calling for them to take part in a survey to determine the best ways of offering help.

Regional manager at NFU Scotland, Lorna Paterson, urged people to come forward and participate.

She said: “Our farmers’ mental health generally is under severe pressure, and this has been escalated due to Covid-19.

“Farmers face so many inspection processes from various organisations, and the repercussions for failing to meet requirements, or for making minor errors can be magnanimous.

“This can cause financial, as well as mental health problems for the farmer.”

Ms Paterson believes there is a need for “practical and simple avenues” to allow those in the sector to speak freely and in confidence about their problems.

It is hoped that a new survey will allow farmers to share their thoughts on how they would like to receive help.

The study is being led by clinical professor at RGU’s School of Health Sciences and NHS Grampian, Kay Cooper, alongside RGU’s vice-principal for academic development and student experience, Professor Liz Hancock.

Prof Cooper said: “We have been working with the north-east of Scotland farming community over the past two years to explore issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing in the farming community.

“This has resulted in some suggestions for services and interventions to support farmers and the farming community with mental health and wellbeing.”

Deputy director of public health at NHS Grampian, Chris Littlejohn, added: “Prevention is always better than cure, for mental health as much as physical health.

“RGU’s work to develop effective interventions to support mental health in the farming community was always important, but is even more so given the stresses of Covid-19 and the upcoming reality of Brexit.”

Responses are anonymous and the survey will close on Saturday, August 16.

It will take around five to 10 minutes to complete and can be found online at

robertgordonuniversity.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/farmers-wellbeing

or a print version can be obtained by contacting lorna.paterson@nfus.org.uk for details.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]