NFUS to focus on mental health at Royal Northern Agricultural Society Spring Show

The Royal Northern Agricultural Society Spring Show returns to Thainstone next week, Wednesday March 2 – and NFU Scotland members, family and friends are invited to visit the union’s stand at the show to discuss the importance of mental and physical health.

NFUS Vice President Andrew Connon and Director of National Operations James Buchanan will be at the show, along with representatives from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian. Working Health Services Scotland’s NHS Grampian case manager Lyndsay Hay will be offering farmers access to six free counseling sessions and four free physiotherapy sessions – and members are encouraged to come by to find out more or even access to these confidential services.

Discussing the importance of continuing conversations about mental health in agriculture, Regional Manager Lorna Paterson explained: “Farming families can be significantly impacted by mental health issues because the industry is so demanding and risky, especially right now.

“We recognize that all the uncertainties surrounding future agricultural policy, land use, rising input costs and the unknowns surrounding product prices are making the situation worse. The broader agricultural industry is also suffering from these pressures, so it is important that we at the NFUS recognize these issues and continue to raise awareness in political arenas and the press.

Read more: RNAS Outstanding Service Awards for Four Pillars of Northeast Agriculture

As part of the ongoing Art of Farming project, visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about pottery from artist Nic Green, who will encourage farmers to design a tile to be used in Thainstone Mart to mark the recent 150th anniversary of the ANM. It is hoped that 150 tiles will be produced by farmers at the show and will then be displayed in the market in recognition of the role agriculture plays in the community.

North East Regional Chairman Alan Simpson said: “Our two VPs Bob Hay and Kevin Gilbert, along with local farmer, Tom Johnston, have spent a great deal of time educating the public about the benefits of introduction of art to the farming community. We are indebted to them for the time spent promoting this topic to other members here.

Amalia H. Mercado