New campaign to support those struggling with mental health and isolation in the farming and rural communities

A new winter campaign has been launched to help support the farming community with isolation and mental health stuggles.

NFU Mutual is supporting the work of Samaritans in its winter campaign

NFU Mutual has joined forces with national charity, Samaritans to share the charity’s tools and resources to help anyone who is finding things difficult.

New research by the rural insurer has shown that the current challenges are impacting on people’s mental health with the ongoing Coronavirus taking its toll.

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The recent customer survey showed a rise from June 1 of seven percent in the number of people who said they were feeling stressed, a three percent increase in the number feeling anxious and two percent more felt lonely.

NFU Mutual has been working with the Samaritans and supporting the charity’s response to the pandemic and its work in rural communities through the Rural Support Initiative.

The Rural Support Initiative, working in farming and rural communities was launched by York Samaritans in 2019 and is the first project which has seen the Samaritans working with other organisations to provide follow on support.

Jo Lumani from NFU Mutual, said: “We‘re proud to be championing Samaritans as they work to support those facing isolation.

“The emotional and practical support offered around the clock is vital for all our communities at this challenging time.”

Samaritans is one of the charities to benefit from an NFU Mutual Charitable Trust donation which in 2020 saw more than £1million distributed to 20 UK charities.

An extra £750,000 was pledged by NFU Mutual specifically to help support charities through the Coronavirus crisis. One of those projects was the Samaritans Real People, Real Stories campaign which aimed to reach those most at risk, particularly men aged 20-59 in agricultural industries.

Matthew Lock, from Samaritans, said: “We are very grateful to The NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for supporting our response to the pandemic as well as our work in rural communities, and beyond.

“We welcome their winter campaign to promote the support available for anyone struggling to cope.

“As we continue to face the challenges of the pandemic, it’s essential that we all look after ourselves and one another, by continuing to check in on anyone who may be struggling and encourage them to reach out for support, whether it’s from a friend, family member or a helpline like Samaritans.”

During the six months since the first lockdown in March last year, Samaritans’ said its volunteers have provided emotional support to more than 1.2 million people who have contacted them by phone, email or letter.

Research with over 1,400 of the charity’s volunteers suggests that around one in five calls for help to Samaritans are about coronavirus, with volunteers suggesting it is mentioned in almost all calls.

They also said anxiety in particular has increased among callers month on month, even as lockdown is being eased.

“NFU Mutual has been supporting its members and communities for over 100 years,” Jo said.

“Through the Charitable Trust we work closely with a range of charities to support causes across all corners of the UK who are changing lives and giving hope for a better future,” she added.