New listening and support service

RSABI, Scotland’s only charity dedicated to helping people who have depended on the land, has today opened a new confidential listening and support service for Scotland’s farming community.

In response to the number of individuals now approaching RSABI for help of a non-financial nature, the charity has established the new telephone helpline service, entitled GATEPOST, in order to actively offer the farming and land-based community a stress-support service.

Dr Maurice Hankey, RSABI chief executive, said: “Whilst there are a number of extremely valuable support services in existence already, we felt that the Scottish farming community needed one that was specific to them.

“This service is exactly what its name suggests – somewhere to lean and catch your breath whilst contemplating how to overcome current problems, as well as a place where you can share your thoughts or problems safe in the knowledge that they will go no further.

“GATEPOST is about providing people with an opportunity to talk to someone they can trust, to share what is on their minds and to explore ways forward.

“We hope GATEPOST will be seen by people as friendly, non-judgmental and approachable at an early stage, not just for when their problems have really begun to control their lives.”

Jim McLaren, NFU Scotland president, said: “It is the nature of our industry that many of those who rely on the land for their living try to tackle the numerous stresses and strains of rural life on their own and struggle to ask for help and advice in times of need.”