People across the region have been called to bolster their support for farmers as concerns grow for their mental health.

Freddie Hamilton-Russell of rural insurance broker Lycetts has urged West Midlands residents to show their support for the farming community.

The appeal comes during Mental Health Awareness Week, which this year is focusing on the pressures faced by different sectors, including farming.


Read more: Mel Allcott is appointed the new mayor of Worcester


Mr Hamilton-Russell emphasised how the economic instability, unpredictable markets, changing subsidy regimes, and climate change not only put their jobs at risk but also threaten their mental wellbeing.

He said: "Farming is not just a business, it’s a way of life that demands resilience in the face of the myriad of evolving challenges.

“But even the most mentally resilient can struggle under the weight of financial and economic uncertainty.

"It’s important that residents support the local agricultural sector to help keep their rural communities alive.”

He added: “Minor changes in shopping habits can make a big difference.

“From buying local farm produce to help ensure farmers have a steady income to patronising local restaurants that champion local fare.”

In recent years, many farmers have diversified their enterprise, with 69 per cent of farm businesses in England diversifying in 2022/23 according to Defra.

This includes ventures like farm shops, cafes, wedding venues and petting farms among others.

Appealing to people in the region, Mr Hamilton-Russell said: “Residents can help support these new ventures, not only by visiting them, but also by promoting them to friends, family, colleagues and on their social media channels.

“Organisations such as RABI (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) provide an invaluable service to UK farmers, helping them become more resilient and better able to cope with future challenges."

Mr Hamilton-Russell concluded: "By fostering awareness and advocating for such dedicated services, we can help safeguard the mental health of our farming community."