The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has launched a new online counselling / mental wellbeing platform for farming people of all ages.
Both sites are free to use, open to all in the farming community in England and Wales and are anonymous and confidential. The sites operate 24/7, with counsellors available from 12 pm Monday to Friday and from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekends. Counsellors are BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy ) accredited. Sessions can be prebooked or on a drop-in basis.
You can use this helpful tool to find out which farming support groups operate in your area and the range of services that they offer.
Throughout lockdown, R.A.B.I’s Corporate Partnership Manager Suzy Deeley has been leading a project that will help reposition R.A.B.I as part of a new strategy for the charity.
“We know many farmers have been having a difficult time recently,” explains Ms Deeley.
“The evidence coming through from our helpline staff is that collectively our mental wellbeing is really taking the strain.
“2020 has brought even greater uncertainty and unexpected change. This is why we’re delighted to be launching an online wellbeing support and counselling service for farming people this autumn.”
Developed in collaboration with a specialist online mental health provider, the service is free and confidential. R.A.B.I has been instrumental in developing content specifically tailored to situations likely to be familiar to many farmers, from seasonal disruption, Brexit anxiety to rural isolation and debt.
“One of the key drivers for the changes at R.A.B.I is that we want to reach the many and not the few,“ continues Ms Deeley.
“Early intervention and one-to-one support are essential to tackling the root causes of poor wellbeing. The dedicated, farmer-focused online counselling platforms can be utilised at your own time and pace.”
In addition to counselling, the sites will also provide discussion boards, chat and messaging functions, a library of articles and case studies. There will also be a journal to record your mood, and a goals tool which will enable you to keep track of personal areas where you want to make positive improvements.