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Mental Health and Wellbeing

Farming and crofting isn’t just a job – it’s a way of life. It’s one of the most rewarding careers but can present a unique set of challenges which are often out with our control.

Mental health and wellbeing is often overlooked and undervalued in the agricultural sector and this needs to change. Farmers and crofters are great at caring for their livestock and crops, but often don’t give themselves the care and attention they need to perform at their best.

Looking after your wellbeing helps to build resilience to face the challenges and pressures agriculture throws at us. Being more resilient enables us to bounce back from any personal or business setbacks.

By supporting your mental and physical health and wellbeing you will be able to perform at your best, fulfil your ambitions, and enjoy your working career.

We have produced a suite of resources to help you improve your mental and physical health, and overall wellbeing.

Man standing in field

Jemma Harding – How Cycling, Collies, and Farming Have Changed My Life

In 2008, Jemma Harding was living and working as a freelance TV producer/director in London when one morning cycling to work she was hit by a lorry and dragged 30 yards along the main road. After 12 hours of surgery she woke up and said “I’m moving home, getting a collie, and farming full time – this was the best thing I ever did.”

Determined not to let the accident beat her, she got back on her bike within 6 months. Fast-forward to the present day, Jemma is proud to be a Dorset Shepherdess, overcoming mental and physical challenges, and is an advocate of physical fitness and community spirit as a route to improving mental health and resilience in rural industries.

Ian Barr: Mental Health and Wellbeing in Agriculture

Ian Barr is a farmer and contractor based at Upper Dalhousie Farm near Edinburgh. Ian is the former President of Scottish Rugby and has some important messages for farmers and crofters across the country.

Health is Your Wealth: Physical and Mental Resilience – Resources

Fit to Farm Booklet

Farming and crofting can be very physically and emotionally demanding. This Fit to Farm booklet provides practical advice to help you look after your mental and physical health.

Farmstrong NZ

Farmstrong NZ is a nationwide wellbeing programme in New Zealand for the rural community. Farmstrong is aimed at supporting farmers, growers, and their families to cope with the ups and downs of farming by sharing things they can do to look after themselves and the people in their business.

There are a variety of videos, blogs, and resources available which may help you to improve your mental health and wellbeing. These include stress and burnout, eating well, sleeping well, injury prevention, healthy thinking, among others.


RSABI provides emotional, practical, and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector including
farming and crofting.


RSABI Helpline Wheel

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