The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is due to welcome front-line practitioners dealing with mental health issues as it continues its inquiry into rural mental health at a public evidence session at 2.30 PM on Tuesday 24 May in Committee Room 6 of the House of Commons.
The Rural Mental Health inquiry is looking into the specific mental health challenges faced by those living and working in rural communities.
This third evidence session in the inquiry will question witnesses who support the mental well-being of farmers and the wider rural community in a variety of ways.
Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border and Member of the EFRA Committee said:
“Our cross party EFRA Committee on which I sit is continuing with the Inquiry on Rural Mental Health that I triggered. In this session we will be looking how professionals in the front line support people in rural areas who face a combination of unique issues that put pressure on them. This is a tough but important inquiry that we hope will shine a spotlight on this area and provide recommendations to improve people’s lives in our rural communities.”
The witnesses are split into two panels. They are:
Panel 1 – Support for rural communities (from 2.30 PM)
· Danny Hutchinson, CEO of Invictus Wellbeing - offers early intervention and preventive mental health support for young people across West Yorkshire.
· Janette Smeeton, CEO of Derwent Rural Counselling Service - has counsellors and cognitive behaviour therapists who provide treatment throughout Derbyshire.
· Carol Stockman, Social Prescribers, Cotswolds Community Wellbeing Service – offers a non-medical form of early intervention which looks to support people’s mental health.
Panel 2 – Support for the farming community (from c. 3.30 PM)
· Stephen Dodsworth, Darlington Farmers Auction Market. Livestock markets play a social function and can be important for farmers’ mental wellbeing, The Darlington Market also runs a café where people can meet and chat.
· Trudy Herniman, Farmerados - a volunteer organisation based on the principle of mutual aid, Farmerados works to raise awareness of mental health in agriculture.
· Edward Richardson, Farm Adviser for Farm Cornwall - runs support centres providing business advice. Edward is trained in suicide prevention and mental health first aid.
· Melinda Raker, Founder Patron of You Are Not Alone (YANA). A rural mental health charity first set up in Norfolk, YANA has extended to cover East Anglia and Worcestershire.
This public evidence session will also be available to view on parliamentlive.tv