Nearly half of all calls made to The Farming Community Network’s (FCN) support helpline (03000 111 999) over the past four months have related to mental health.

Mental health is now frequently the most common factor in calls presenting to the helpline from members of the farming community.

Issues include stress and anxiety caused by issues such as finances, family relationships, Brexit uncertainty and Covid-19.

Concerns around mental health and wellbeing were a factor in:

• 52 per cent of calls in June

• 53 per cent of calls in July

• 47 per cent of calls in August

• 45 per cent of calls in September

In April 2020, 56 per cent of all calls presented to FCN were related to Covid-19, and the pandemic has remained a source of concern for the farming community in the following months.

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Jude McCann, FCN CEO, said: “This data presents an important insight into the lived experiences of farmers throughout England and Wales this year.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has affected many farmers and their businesses and 2020 has also brought a range of other challenges – such as flooding and drought in different parts of the UK, poor crop yields and concerns about the short and long term effects post-Brexit rural policy may have on the industry.

"All of these heighten feelings of stress and anxiety.

“FCN encourages those living in rural communities to get in touch with us.

"Whether the issues you’re experiencing are big or small, no one should have to suffer in silence.

"FCN’s Helpline (03000 111 999) is open every day of the year, 7am-11pm. Every year we help hundreds of farming families through difficult times.

"Our volunteers throughout England and Wales, many of whom are from farming backgrounds, are here to help.”

The data is revealed in advance of World Mental Health Day (October 10) and Ag Mental Health Week (October 10-16).

The charity hopes to help raise awareness around poor mental health in the farming industry to encourage change by promoting openness and reducing stigma.

FCN is helping to support farming resilience in a number of key ways. FCN’s FarmWell platform ( is a one-stop resource for guidance and information around personal and business resilience.