Farming couple’s mental health charity award

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Sam and Emily Stables were presented with a National Lottery Community Award, by John Craven

Sam and Emily Stables were presented with a National Lottery Community Award, by John Craven

A farming couple who set up a mental health charity to combat isolation have been recognised with a national award.

Emily Stables and her husband Sam founded the We are Farming Minds charity in Herefordshire after he struggled with his own mental health.

The charity funds counselling and gives mental health awareness training to the wider agricultural community.

The couple were presented with a National Lottery Community Award by broadcaster John Craven.

Poor mental health is 46% higher in farming than in other occupations, yet rural communities have less access to support, says the National Lottery.

A judging panel selected the couple, who farm 81 hectares of the Duchy of Cornwall Estate at Kingsthorne, as a winner out of 1,300 nominations for their dedication in supporting vulnerable farmers in rural communities.

Sam Stables and family

Mr Stables and his wife Emily set up a charity to help people living in rural communities with their mental health

The father of two described how his mental health had become so poor he had planned to take his own life.

“It can be a very lonely job. I reached a crisis point and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mr Stables.

He said the charity he set up offered farmers a “judgement free space” in order to talk.

“It’s fantastic to get recognition and to know that there’s a real need for the services we offer,” he added.

Mrs Stables said: “Our mission is to reach out to as many people as possible in the farming community to break down stigma, open up support and say to every farmer ‘its ok not to be ok’.”

Mr Craven added: “It’s truly inspirational and humbling to see how Sam and Emily have turned what was one of the darkest chapters of their lives into something so positive.”

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