Samaritans: 'Anecdotally, we know farmers have contacted us over the Fodder Crisis'
One in three people who contact the Samaritans for support are struggling with loneliness or feelings of isolation, new research from the charity reveals.
Samaritans Ireland reports that more than 65,000 calls to its helpline dealt with the issue and it is particularly acute among people in rural areas and farmers.
Its research is being launched on the opening day of the National Ploughing Championships as Samaritans volunteers will be on site in Screggan, Co Offaly.
Cindy O’Shea, lead volunteer and regional director for Ireland, said it is important for people in rural Ireland to realise they can pick up the phone day or night and hear a caring voice.
“Loneliness, isolation, stress and depression are among the issues which affect rural communities and farmers,” she said.
“This year the fodder crisis and the long-term effects of the adverse weather conditions, from our spring snow to the summer drought, have had a greater impact on the lives and livelihoods of many people.
“Anecdotally, we know that this particular issue has prompted farmers to contact us.
“We are always encouraging farmers to seek out support if they find the pressure becomes too much.”