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Insights to young farmers’ mental health

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By Fiona Reid
Insights to young farmers’ mental health

A SURVEY of young farmers undertaken by Scottish agricultural charity RSABI this summer has highlighted the factors which are affecting the mental health of young people in agriculture.

A total of 114 young people in agriculture aged from 16 to 30 took part.

And they reported that the biggest challenges to their mental health were long work hours, reluctance to talk about their feelings, isolated location, the cost of going out and shyness.

The importance of meeting up with others at events and shows shone through very clearly, with 98 per cent rating attending the Royal Highland Show as important for their mental health.

Commenting on the results, RSABI chief executive Carol McLaren said: “We know that social anxiety among young people, aggravated by lockdown during covid, is a major issue that young farmers and indeed many older people in the farming community, are now struggling with.

“We are encouraging people not to hesitate to reach out to RSABI but everyone in the agricultural community can play an important part in encouraging positive mental health by actively looking out for people who might be at risk of feeling lonely or low. Just contacting someone or other small acts of kindness can make a huge difference and could even save a life, although you may never know it.”

n RSABI’s freephone Helpline – 0808 1234 555 – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and calls won’t show up on phone bills. All enquires are treated as confidential. There is also a webchat function on 24/7.

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