29 September 2000

Unseen victims of depression

MANY producers are suffering the effects of the industrys depression, but those most at risk are likely to be least visible.

Speaking on the stand run by the Rural Stress Information Network, the Agricultural Chaplains Association, Farmers World Network and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, Canon John Willis said many producers were concerned about friends and neighbouring farmers.

"We have had a lot of producers asking what they can do about friends who appear depressed. But we are also concerned about those producers who dont appear anywhere such as at markets, events or down at the local pub.

"Farmers who are suffering from depression are likely to become increasingly introverted and those are the people that its vital to keep an eye on.

"Those suffering most are tenant farmers or producers with high bank debts. All farmers are struggling, but those producers are finding it particularly hard." &#42