Farmers in Dorset are being invited to an event that's addressing the stresses of the industry.

According to a recent study by the Farm Safety Foundation, 88 per cent of farmers under 40 have identified poor mental health as the biggest hidden problem their community faces.

Farmers and their families face unique challenges with their mental health and with long-term physical health conditions because of strenuous, and often dangerous, work.

On May 20, a public event near Dorchester will feature an open discussion on the issue with current and former Dorset farmers.

Event speaker Ellie Sturrock, a Dorset-based sheep farmer and accredited therapist with Steps2Wellbeing, said: “Being a farmer has always been difficult.

"Weather, poverty, lack of time, disease, politics, accidents, isolation and access to dangerous equipment puts farmers at greater risk of physical injury and mental health issues.

“Speakers at this event will share how they have coped with low mood and anxiety, and people attending will learn more about useful treatments that they can easily do at home.

“As a shepherd and psychological therapist, I’m pleased to be a part of this excellent initiative and make more people aware of the support Steps2Wellbeing can provide.”

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Representatives from Steps2Wellbeing, Trading Standards’ Animal Welfare Team and the Dorset Farming Community Network will also take part.

Run by Dorset HealthCare, Steps2Wellbeing is a free, NHS mental health service for adults across the county.

It provides talking therapies for common mental health issues such as low mood, anxiety, and depression.

The event will take place on Friday, May 20 from 10.30am-2pm in St Martin’s Community Hall, Main Street, Broadmayne.

To book a place, email before May 17.