• Online mental health and wellbeing service Kooth has been commissioned by The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution
  • Kooth and Qwell services to be accessible to all farmers and farming family members over the age of 10 with no referrals, waiting lists or thresholds to meet
  • Services are completely anonymous and can be booked ahead of time

London, October 20th The UK’s leading digital mental pioneer, Kooth has been commissioned by The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI)  to provide online mental health support to farmers nationwide. The commission gives those aged over 10 free access to Kooth and Qwell’s online counselling and emotional wellbeing services, 365 days a year. There are no waiting lists or thresholds to meet to qualify for support.

Farmers face a unique set of circumstances that may negatively impact their emotional wellbeing including financial pressures, Brexit, unpredictable weather conditions and long, isolated workdays. These factors can contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and suicide. According to the Office for National Statistics, (ONS), on average, more than one agrciultural worker commits suicide each week in the U.K.

Rural communities may have limited access to specialised care, in particular, mental health services, making it difficult to receive the support they need. The online nature of Kooth and Qwell means that more people can access help in a way that is most suitable for them, at a time that is convenient for them 365 days of the year.

Kooth, a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited service, offers 11-18 year olds access to a range of online support services including one-to-one anonymous counselling sessions. Counselling sessions are available from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm weekends and can be booked in advance or through a drop-in session.  Children and young people using the site will also be able to discuss issues with their peers through online discussion boards, read and contribute to self-help content and record their feelings with journals and goal trackers.

Qwell provides adults with support for their mental health through an online peer-to-peer community, psycho-educational materials and counsellor messaging support. Adults can drop-in or book one-to-one online chat sessions with experienced counsellors from 12-noon until 10om on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends.

“We know that farmers have continued to face exceptionally difficult times. Managing mental wellbeing and maintaining good mental health has emerged as one of the most significant issues facing our sector, which is already known for its higher than average levels of stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide,” says Alicia Chivers, RABI’s Chief Executive.

“Our aim is to make a real difference to the farming community that RABI has been dedicated to for the past 160 years. We believe early intervention and one-to-one support are essential to ensuring good mental health and tackling the root causes of poor wellbeing. We believe that providing confidential, easily accessible, free online support can make a real difference to a wide audience.”

Annie Meharg : “Rural communities are the forgotten heart of the UK and this pandemic.  Statistically those working in the agricultural industry are at a higher  risk of suffering with mental health problems and are subject to extreme stress as a result of financial pressure, poor harvests, market fluctuations and isolation. I am so pleased that farmers will now have access to a completely anonymous service for them to address their mental health needs.”

Dr. Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer, Kooth added: “Farming is a stressful and demanding occupation compounded by many uncertainties.  Access to safe, online mental health services is therefore crucial in rural communities.  Having both Kooth and Qwell services available will provide the farming community with continuing care from childhood into adulthood.  We hope that our services will enable as many people as possible to get the support they need.” 

Ends

About Kooth

We are the UK’s leading online mental health platform. Our mission is to provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone to achieve better mental health. Our online platform is clinically robust and accredited to provide a range of therapeutic support and interventions. All our services are predicated on easy access to make early intervention and prevention a reality. 

Our three services are:

  • Kooth: for children and young persons
  • Kooth Student: for university students
  • Qwell: for adults

Kooth is commissioned in 81% of the NHS’s clinical commissioning group areas across the country. It is a fully safeguarded and pre-moderated community with a library of peer and professional created content, alongside access to experienced online counsellors. There are no thresholds for support and no waiting lists. Currently, Kooth sees over 4,000 logins a day. 

Kooth Student is aimed at university students and is commissioned by three UK universities. 

Qwell operates across distinct locations and serves specific cohorts, including parents, teachers, victims of crime and those who have suffered from or continue to experience domestic violence. It is also offered as a benefit by a number of corporate organisations delivering anonymous digital mental health support services to employees.