Men urged to focus on their mental health

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

Men across Dartmoor are being urged to think about their mental health as the South West sees the highest suicide rate in England.

Many in the region are employed on zero hours contracts and in lowly paid jobs; the change to Universal Credits replacing six other benefits has added to families’ financial strains and anxiety.

Another factor is our rural location and the fact that farmers may be as much as three times more likely than the average person to die by suicide is a real cause for concern. On average, according to national statistics, one farmer a week dies by suicide in the UK.

Farmers are often viewed as people who are happiest at work but there is little comprehension of the pressure. Their dependence upon the unreliable weather to grow crops and feed farm animals, the anxiety, large amounts of paperwork and the financial stress as they wrestle with large supermarkets to gain a fair price for their hard-earned goods.

Farming is a 24/7 business with very long hours. Farmers are often isolated in remote rural areas away from other people too.

Help is available from: The Samaritans 116 123, Young Devon 08082 810155 or go to, Farm Crisis Network 0845 367 9990, Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution 0808 281 9490, Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide 0300 111 5065, YANA (You Are Not Alone) 0300 323 0400, DTSPA 07528 241 400, NFU 01392 440 700,