New support services have been launched by the farming charity RABI, after a new survey revealed worrying low levels of mental wellbeing identified in a new survey.
The Big Farming Survey showed over a third of people working in farming are probably or possibly depressed, said Suzi Deeley, RABI’s head of partnerships.
The charity is now offering new in-person mental health counselling and farming-focused mental health training initiatives.
The free, confidential in-person counselling is delivered by BACP accredited counsellors. Anyone feeling they could benefit from talking to a professional can access via RABI’s 24/7 helpline on 0800 188 4444. Clinical or GP referrals are not necessary, with counsellors responding to initial requests for support within 24 hours.
“All of the counsellors providing support have been selected for a combination of their clinical expertise and their background, engagement or interest in farming and rural communities. It’s vital they have the right specialist experience and are committed to our community with an understanding of the complex challenges farming people face. Ongoing counsellor training will ensure farming people are properly supported when they face issues impacting the sector,” said Deeley.
Counselling sessions can take place face-to-face, by telephone or video conferencing and are tailored and led by each individual.
In addition to in-person counselling, RABI is launching the first suite of mental health training tailored to the farming sector. The training provides a valuable tool for the agricultural community to help them feel comfortable talking about how they are feeling.
“We are increasingly being approached by organisations and individuals who want to develop the skills to open conversations around mental health with friends, colleagues, customers and clients. This training will equip trainees with the tools to start conversations about wellbeing with confidence,” said Deeley.