How Samaritans is encouraging men in rural communities to seek help

Real People, Real Stories, supported by the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust and the Scottish Government, aims to reach men in rural communities who are struggling to cope and encourage them to seek help.

Men in rural areas are less likely to reach out for support or talk to someone if they’re struggling.

Men in rural areas say stigma around mental health is the biggest barrier to seeking help.

Men in rural areas say not knowing who to turn to was one of the biggest barriers to seeking support.


I think speaking to men, especially in rural community, it’s probably the only, only way that blokes like me will actually talk. Knowing the Samaritans are there, that’s your first step.


People will listen, and they will help. More so, you could probably help yourself, just by having that conversation.

Nigel Owens, Samaritans supporter, farmer and former International Rugby Union Referee, opens up about the importance of seeking help

NigelOwens_RPRS (2)

I wish I would have asked for help and looked for help much sooner than I did. It would have helped a lot, there’s no doubt about it.

Harry, 22

“Talking does help - you might think you’re the only person thinking or feeling something, but that’s often not the case.”


Morgan, 28

“It wasn’t until I spoke to someone that I realised I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling.”

Morgan, Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer

Damon, 48

“If someone had the tools to talk to [my cousin], or the nous to have noticed, they might have been able to do something, or address the issues.”



“I think the mental health of rural communities is so important and making it known they can talk about what they might be going through.”

RPRS David

A message from Jim McLaren MBE, Farmer and Chairman of NFU Mutual

RPRS_Jim McLaren

As we mark two years that have been changeable and challenging for the rural community, it is vital that we encourage farmers and men in particular to seek help if they require it.

Jim McLaren MBE, Farmer and Chairman of NFU Mutual

Watch a message from Jim

For Further Support

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a national voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times. FCN has over 400 volunteers located throughout England and Wales. In addition to local groups of volunteers, FCN runs a confidential national helpline (03000 111 999) for those in rural communities, which is open every day of the year from 7am-11pm.

FCN’s FarmWell website is a one-stop resource to help farmers and their businesses stay strong and resilient during periods of change. FarmWell Wales and FarmWell Cymru tailor resources for farmers in Wales.

Helpline: 03000 111999

Rural Support provides a listening and signposting service for farmers and farming families across Northern Ireland through its helpline 0800 138 1678 Monday-Friday 9am-9pm).

It also provides various programmes, mentoring support, and advice about a wide range of issues including financial issues, mental health concerns and succession planning.

Helpline: 0800 138 1678

Email: [email protected]

Visit the Rural Support website

R.A.B.I (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) is a national charity that provides local, proactive support to the farming community across England and Wales.

Against a backdrop of growing challenges, R.A.B.I provide a range of services, including financial support and practical advice to all farming people through its network of regional teams and specialist partners.

Free, confidential support and counselling can be reached via their 24/7 helpline 0800 188 4444, by emailing [email protected] or visiting the R.A.B.I website

Providing emotional, practical and financial support to individuals and their families across the agricultural sector in Scotland. The service is available to those previously and currently involved in farming and crofting. This is a comprehensive service to clients who are experiencing difficult times to enable them to move forward.

Helpline: 0300 111 4166

Email: [email protected]

Visit the RSABI website

The Farm Safety Foundation, or Yellow Wellies as many know them, is a small UK-wide charity dedicated to raising awareness of farm safety and mental wellbeing in farmers. Their ‘Little Book of Minding Your Head’, which is downloadable from the website or available on request, is a must-read for anyone living and working in rural communities. The book explains mental health and how poor mental health is impacting the industry, what it looks like, what it sounds like, depression, suicidal thoughts and importantly how to start a conversation about mental health. The book also outlines key sources of support for those in the industry

Call: 01789 416 065

Email: [email protected]

Vist The Farm Safety Foundation website

Share the Load service provides access to trained volunteers who will listen but who also can make a referral to funded counselling.

Call: 01789 416 065

Visit the Share the Load website

Need support? Call 116 123 to speak to a Samaritan or

view other ways to get in touch