Bishop Paul Speaks Up for Farmers and Farming Mental Health Provision

Speaking in the House of Lords on 21st June, Bishop Paul drew attention to the crisis in the mental health and the wellbeing provision for the farming industry. 

Last month a report published by the cross-party Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) committee raised concerns over the state of mental health across rural communities in England calling for urgent government action.

Initiating a focus on farming by tabling the first question in the Upper House today, Bishop Paul drew their Lordships’ attention to the considerable stress that many in the farming industry are presently working under.

“Among farmers in Nottinghamshire, as elsewhere, it’s clear they are under increasing strain due to the volatility of fuel prices and other high input costs but that they also face considerable stress caused by continued uncertainty while the Sustainable Farming Incentives (part of the post-EU funding) are still not up and running” he said.

Bishop Paul asked the Government minister, Lord Harlech, “How is DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) going to respond to the Efra committee findings confirmed by the NFU members survey of serious gaps that exists in the rural mental health provision?”

The minister said, “The Government will be responding (to the report) in due course. We are already taking steps in the right direction to improve mental health in rural communities. The Government is investing £2.3bn extra a year into the expansion and transformation of mental health services in England.”

During their exchange, Lord Harlech also thanked the bishop and all who supported people on the ground in Nottingham following the terrible attacks in the city last week, and the bishop responded by thanking the Minister for his kind words and the concern of the whole House for those affected by these tragic events.

Watch below:

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