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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Helpline available 24/7

A FREE 24 hour helpline has been launched to provide emotional, financial and practical support to people in Scottish agriculture.

It has been set up by the RSABI charity and can be accessed all year round on 0808 1234 555.

The aim is to ensure farmers, crofters and others involved in Scottish agriculture can access support at any time of day or night.

It is part of a move by the charity, which is this year celebrating its 125th anniversary, to ensure it offers the best possible service.

Funding worth £16,000 came from the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland, while the Scottish Government provided £15,000.

RSABI chairman Dave Leggat said: “Our aim is to provide a friendly, professional, and confidential service for people of all ages, involved in a wide range of roles in Scottish agriculture and our message is very much that we are here for everyone in times of need.

“With challenging times expected in the coming months, we are also calling on people throughout the industry to help us to spread the word and increase awareness of RSABI’s wide range of services. We can provide financial help – including Help with Heating grants and a range of domestic items – as well as farm reviews and practical help with steps to get people back on track.”

The charity revealed that emotional support is now their biggest area and welfare manager Chris McVey said: “We are pleased that more and more working farmers are reaching out to us. In recent months we have seen some exceptional results in terms of the mental health of farmers – aged in their 20s upwards – who we have referred to our professional counsellors.

“We are pleased that emotional wellbeing – and the steps to maintain and improve this – is increasingly being freely discussed in the agricultural community.”

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