NFU Scotland is launching FarmTalk at this year’s RNAS Spring Show, at Thainstone Agricultural Centre on February 28, within their NFUS stand in marquee one.

FarmTalk has been the brainchild of current north-east NFUS regional chair, Kevin Gilbert, past regional chair, Alan Simpson, past vice-chair, Robert Hay, and regional manager Lorna Paterson.

The team set up FarmTalk on the back of what they consider the gap in mental health support for farming and agricultural people in the North-east.

The Scottish Farmer: FarmTalk FarmTalk

Farmers and employees from various agricultural organisations often feel very alone in their struggle to combat negative feelings and carry a burden of issues often outwith their control.

FarmTalk will be available to all farmers and agri-industry personnel in the region.

NFUS regional manager, Lorna Paterson said: “The main message is, we listen and we really want to help. We have access to industry experts if you want some more intense expert help as well as colleagues who speak your language and empathise with the challenges our industry faces.

"We are working closely with Sandy Garvock, founder of Men Utd, based at Peterhead, and have satellite groups based in Newmachar and Turriff.

"Men Utd offer similar peer support facilities to their client base and we see this relationship in working with them to help both organisations thrive.

“FarmTalk encourages our female farming and agricultural colleagues into the fold, and we are most certainly not gender specific.”

At the Spring Show, the team will be there to let people learn more about FarmTalk and let people know how they can get involved.

The long term strategy is to create a larger network of volunteers from the industry, comprising people who genuinely want to help fellow farming and agricultural industry folk.

The plan is to have everyone talking more outwardly about mental well-being and break down any stigma which ultimately could create a better place for the rural community.