AbbeyAutoline signs up for mental health training

Insurance broker, Abbey Autoline, has committed to enrolling its dedicated agricultural team in mental health training so staff can provide better support to members of the farming community.

Sunday, 27th June 2021, 7:16 am

AbbeyAutoline Agri team staff, in association with charity Rural Support, will undergo specialist training specifically for agri businesses who work closely with farmers.

The training comes as a report from the Assembly, published in April, revealed one in five adults having a diagnosable mental health condition at any given time.

It was also found that Northern Ireland experiences 20-25% higher level of mental health illness compared to the rest of the UK.

The research paper also acknowledged the strong link between suicide and mental illness as being well established.

The latest provisional data released from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency indicates that the number of suicides rose from 197 deaths in 2019 to 263 deaths in 2020.

AbbeyAutoline’s Head of Agriculture, Richard Henderson, who also farms part-time said understanding mental health issues within the farming community in Northern Ireland must be a priority for business working in the agri sector.

He said: “Farming can be a lonely occupation if other family members are working away from the farm, or children at school for large parts of the day causing a lot of isolation.

“When it comes to factors that may have an impact on suicide risk, concerns such as financial loss, social isolation and poor social conditions are all issues relevant to the farming community.

“While helping to safeguard farmers, I’m also aware how the practical realities of farming can have an impact on a farmer’s immediate cashflow and should a large loss or incident occur on the farm, how this can be a source of great stress.

“I’m delighted that AbbeyAutoline has signed up to the training provided by Rural Support. A cornerstone of our business is the relationships we develop with our customers and this training is an extension of our commitment to doing our best for the people we work with.

“During the course of our discussions with members of the farming community, we want to be able to provide the right support to them if there are issues they are dealing with in their personal life.”

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