‘Ask for help’, Suffolk farmers told, as stresses take toll

Stuart Roberts, right, NFU vice president, with branch chair Glenn Buckingham listening, left, at th

Stuart Roberts, right, NFU vice president, with branch chair Glenn Buckingham listening, left, at the NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS - Credit: Archant

The chair of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) called on farmers to be vigilant of their own - and others’ - mental health as it met for its annual meeting.

Glenn Buckingham, speaking on Wednesday (November 7), explained how he had been involved in a meeting to help establish the YANA (You Are Not Alone) charity in Suffolk at the county show this year.

“It is an organisation supporting anyone who feels the need of help coping with the stress and strains in rural life. At times, as we know, it can be quite isolating with many burdens and complexities to deal with. The message is simply this: if you or you know anyone who you think is vulnerable, ask for help - it’s there,” he said.

He also warned of the risks of another weather event similar to the two-month heatwave this summer which had left crops stressed and thirsty. “Our climate is not as stable as it was - extremes are likely and we need to become more resilient.”