A grant of £80,000 has been awarded by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust to Scottish agricultural charity, RSABI, with a focus on supporting the charity’s ambitious drive to improve farmers’ mental health.

The charity has recently launched a tranche of initiatives that focus on driving improvements in mental health in Scottish farming and crofting communities, along with its emotional, practical, and financial support services.

RSABI has recently rolled out licences for the Thrive Wellbeing app following a successful trial with three young farmers clubs and is currently piloting a Health Hut initiative at Thainstone Mart, aimed at supporting both physical and mental wellbeing.

One of the most exciting new programmes the charity has embarked on, which the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust funding is helping to support, is the Mental Health First Aid training which is being delivered in partnership with former Royal Marines at IED Training Solutions.

“We wanted to learn from the experience of the Royal Marines’ ‘Lifting the Lid’ initiative which focused on reducing the stigma previously associated with mental health in the service,” said Carol McLaren, chief executive of RSABI.

“There are also lots of synergies between the lifestyle of marines and farmers, from living and working in one place to weather, terrain, and anti-social hours and this is resonating well with those taking part.”

Ms McLaren said RSABI was absolutely delighted to have received the funding boost from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, which will help to allow even more people to benefit from the mental health first aid training.

“We are very grateful to the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for the funding which will really help us to cascade the benefits from our mental health training,” she said.

“The aim of the initiative is to work with organisations and businesses who are in regular contact with farmers to give them the skills and confidence to identify the signs when someone may be struggling, to know how to have a supportive conversation and how to help them find further support from organisations like RSABI.”

NFU Mutual chairman and chair of the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust, Jim McLaren, commented: “We’re very proud to be supporting the great work RSABI is undertaking to support mental wellbeing for the farming and crofting communities across Scotland. I have been fortunate to have undertaken the charity’s Mental Health First Aid Training, and can see first-hand how this will enable fellow farmers to look out for and help one another.”