Evening of online talks on mental health and support for Devon farmers

A free farming mental health and wellbeing online seminar is being held in February, organised by the Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service.

The evening of talks about mental health and wellbeing support for the farming community is on Tuesday, February 3, at 6pm, and will include speakers from the Gay Farmer Helpline, an Accredited cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT), Market Chaplin, Farming Community Network and Kingsbridge Young Farmers.

Each organisation will focus on the importance of mental health and wellbeing, highlighting what help is available and where to get support.

In addition to the speakers there will be an opportunity to ask the organisations and Trading Standards officers questions.

Those wishing to join the free event can take part anonymously if they wish.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council’s cabinet member responsible for the economy skills and training said: “The ongoing Covid-19 crisis and increasing industry pressures mean that farmers and rural businesses are under pressure more than ever.

“Farming can be a challenging way of life. Find out how you can support your wellbeing and get the right help when you need it at our seminar.

“Contributions to the seminar are welcome but there’s no requirement to engage if you don’t want to. If you have been struggling please join us and just listen if you wish.”

Mark Peacock, business support and innovation manager at Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards, said: “The importance of mental health and wellbeing and its impact on businesses and staff is as critical now as ever before.

“One of our priorities this year is to raise awareness, train our staff to identify the signs and help signpost our rural businesses to find help.”

A team of officers from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards are receiving mental health training to improve the support they can offer rural businesses and farmers.

The training aims to help officers to recognise the signs of mental illness in order to raise awareness and provide businesses with advice to access support services.

According to the Farming Community Network (FCN) nearly half of all calls made to its helpline between July and October last year were related to mental health and 56 per cent of all calls last April related to Covid-19, Devon County Council said.

  • See the Eventbrite website to book your free place. Those unable to take part at the time can register and receive a recording after the event.

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