Responding to the current crisis in the British pig industry, leading farming charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), has announced the immediate availability of additional support to those affected.
Supplementing RABI’s existing package of practical and financial support, and understanding the emotional impacts of the crisis, the charity has introduced access to in-person professional counselling support.
“Evidence from the Big Farming Survey confirmed high levels of poor mental health exist across agriculture. Data from the survey also evidenced that depression rates are particularly high in the specialist pigs’ sector, with 47% likely to be probably or possibly depressed,” explained RABI’s corporate partnership manager, Suzy Deeley.
“The survey highlighted these concerns even before the current crisis. Therefore, developing bespoke, in-person counselling support to supplement existing services already available in some areas of the county, and ensuring this is available on-demand consistently across England and Wales, has been a focus for the charity over recent months.
“The worsening situation and potential of on-farm culls has led to this in-person support being made available immediately. All those working in the pig sector can access this, along with any of our services, on our confidential 24-hour helpline, 0800 188 4444.”
The National Pig Association (NPA) chief executive Zoe Davies welcomed RABI’s response to their members’ plight: “These are the hardest times pig producers have faced for over twenty years and it is putting incredible emotional strain on them. The additional support from RABI has come at a time when our industry really needs it. It is so important that we look after ourselves and others so we would encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed to reach out for the support available.”
RABI’s online platform can be accessed anonymously at any time of day and night, and also provides remote counselling through a chat function – www.rabi.org.uk/kooth.