Farmers are more likely to turn to vets for help with mental health issues, a survey has found.
And more than half (58 per cent) said they would be more likely to seek help if the rural professionals they work with have undergone mental health awareness training.
The study, carried out by Kate Tomlinson, a graduate surveyor at GSC Grays and farmer’s daughter, found despite several mental health organisations throughout the UK geared towards supporting farmers, farmers were often not accessing professional help and instead expressed their struggles with mental health to rural professionals who had little to no training.
The research was published on Time to Talk Day (February 7) and comes after research from The Farm Safety Foundation found 81 per cent of British farmers under 40 saw mental health as the biggest problem facing agriculture.
The industry has the second highest rate of suicides.
Ms Tomlinson said: “The type of relationship farmers had with service providers was the prevailing factor regarding whether they would seek mental health support from them.
“However, many rural service providers would not feel comfortable offering mental health support to farmers due to lack of training.
"In particular, those professionals under 40 would feel less comfortable offering mental health support to older farmers, due to their perceived lack of life experience, or due to older farmer’s increased privacy and stigmatisation of mental health.”