13 September 1999
One farmer a week commits suicide

ONE farmer a week is being driven to suicide by the pressures of cashflow and red tape paralysing the industry, according to the Rural Stress Information Network.

Farmers are more likely to approach their vet than their doctor with problems and even frequently ill conceal their real problem by complaining about aches and pains.

The report calls for new guidance for social services on how they should respond to requests for help by people concerned about farmers and their families.

Many of the problems facing farmers are directly related to government policy, from form filling to the common agricultural policy and the BSE crisis, it says.

In other cases, the report blames banks for putting pressure on farmers who are already struggling to make ends meet.