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Ways to help bolster farmers’ mental wellbeing

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By Fiona Reid
Farming
Ways to help bolster farmers’ mental wellbeing

RESIDENTS in the region are being urged to step up their support for local farmers, amid growing concerns over their mental health.

James Cuthbertson, of rural insurance broker Lycetts, issued an appeal during Mental Health Awareness Week, when the spotlight turns to the pressures faced by different sectors of the community.

For farmers, the combination of economic instability, market volatility, red tape, a changing subsidy regime and climate change not only threatens their livelihoods but also risks impacting their mental wellbeing.

James, above, said: “Farming is not just a business, it’s a way of life that demands resilience in the face of the myriad of evolving challenges.

“But even the most mentally resilient can struggle under the weight of financial and economic uncertainty. It’s important that residents support the local agricultural sector to help keep their rural communities alive.”

And he highlighted several ways in which people can make a difference.

“Minor changes in shopping habits can make a big difference,” he said. “From buying local farm produce to help ensure farmers have a steady income to patronising local restaurants that champion local fare.

“In addition, our Scottish farmers need access to mental health resources that address the unique pressures of the farming sector and wider agricultural communities.

“Organisations such as RABI (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) provide an invaluable service to UK farmers, helping them become more resilient and better able to cope with future challenges.

“By fostering awareness and advocating for such dedicated services, we can help safeguard the mental health of our farming community.

“Every individual can contribute to this cause. Whether it’s choosing to buy local, spreading the word about rural enterprises or supporting mental health initiatives, your actions can make a profound difference.”

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