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More mental health support for farmers needed

Speaking at the RABI annual general meeting, NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts has highlighted new challenges that the British farming industry will be facing such as mental health support for rural areas, emphasizing the need for improved NHS resources in the countryside to help those who are struggling to cope.

Roberts said, “The British farming industry is on the brink of momentous change, not only on a national scale with Brexit but in the universal fight against climate change. These challenges, alongside the hugely diverse issues that running a farm business entails, can be incredibly stressful and have a negative impact on mental wellbeing. And like many people, it is an area that farmers have often been reluctant to talk about.”
Roberts continued, adding that “Many farmers struggling with their mental health have turned to charities for support and these services will undoubtedly become even more important in the future. But this needs to go beyond charity support. We need to see government providing more medical resource in rural communities to ensure farmers can get the help they need and deserve. However, Roberts is optimistic about the future of the British farming industry despite the impact of climate change and Brexit. He stated that “The industry must also remember that with all the changes and challenges coming our way, there also comes opportunity; not only to become a world leader in food production or to be at the forefront of environmental and climate action, but to build a farming sector that is underpinned by support, compassion and resilience.”