Call for farm­ers to take part in well­be­ing study

The Oban Times - - FARMING -

NFU SCOT­LAND and ru­ral char­ity RSABI have joined forces to en­cour­age farm­ers, crofters and those work­ing in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try to take part in a pi­lot study by Univer­sity of Glas­gow.

The study is aimed at those work­ing within the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try in Scot­land who suf­fer from low mood and/or anx­i­ety, and would in­volve tak­ing part in a short on­line course. If the pi­lot study is suc­cess­ful it could be made read­ily avail­able to as­sist those in need of sup­port.

Pre­vi­ous re­search has in­di­cated that farm­ers and crofters may be par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble to these dif­fi­cul­ties and that they may not want to, or be able to, ac­cess for­mal health care ser­vices for sup­port. Once in­di­vid­u­als agree to take part in the study, they will be asked to com­plete an ini­tial ques­tion­naire to as­sess their cur­rent well­be­ing. Par­tic­i­pa­tion will be fully con­fi­den­tial.

As a need to sup­port those work­ing in the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try has been iden­ti­fied, this study is be­ing or­gan­ised and funded by the In­sti­tute of Men­tal Health and Well­be­ing at the Univer­sity of Glas­gow.

Al­lan Bowie, pres­i­dent of NFU Scot­land, com­mented: ‘We know farm­ers and crofters can work in iso­lated ar­eas, and of­ten can go days with­out speak­ing to some­one. This can im­pact on health and well­be­ing, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year, and it’s fan­tas­tic that tools are be­ing re­searched to help im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity to help for those within our in­dus­try, in an un­ob­tru­sive, con­fi­den­tial way.

‘One in four peo­ple in Scot­land will suf­fer from poor men­tal health at some point in their life. And we know with the pres­sures that are cur­rently fac­ing our in­dus­try, and ev­ery sec­tor, it can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on how we feel and how we cope in the run­ning of our busi­nesses.

‘I would en­cour­age as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble to take part in this study if they fit the cri­te­ria, as it can only bode well for help­ing our in­dus­try to be the best it can be go­ing for­ward, with suit­able re­sources avail­able, no mat­ter where you are in Scot­land.’

Mags Granger, RSABI’s wel­fare man­ager, com­mented: ‘We are pleased to sup­port this re­search which will as­sist in iden­ti­fy­ing suit­able sup­port for those work­ing within the agri­cul­tural in­dus­try here in Scot­land.

‘We know that peo­ple in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties can some­times ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cult and stress­ful times, and, as a char­ity, RSABI has been work­ing to im­prove the re­sources avail­able for those peo­ple.

‘This re­search by the Univer­sity of Glas­gow is very wel­come and it is hoped that we will get enough farm­ers and crofters, and peo­ple work­ing with the in­dus­try, who have suf­fered low mood and/or anx­i­ety at some point in their lives to come for­ward to take part. This sur­vey could re­sult in prac­ti­cal help for farm­ers and crofters for the fu­ture.’

Har­riet Bowyer, of the In­sti­tute of Health and Well­be­ing at Univer­sity of Glas­gow, said: ‘The cur­rent study is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the use­ful­ness of pro­vid­ing farm­ers and crofters with an on­line course that teaches key life skills based on cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy.

‘Re­search sug­gests that on­line life skills train­ing can help with low mood and anx­i­ety, and that it works best if it is rel­e­vant to the peo­ple who are using it. That’s why this project has been de­signed specif­i­cally for farm­ers and crofters.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.