What is the Welsh Government doing to support the mental health of farmers and people in rural areas, in addition to developing suicide prevention measures?
The Welsh Government supports a number of important activities to aid mental health in rural communities, such as the Farm Support Group which brings together farming charities. The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has invested £45,000 to develop Farmwell Wales, an information hub on personal and business resilience for farmers and their families which, alongside our Farm Liaison Service, provides a wealth of advice and guidance for those seeking help.
I recently visited the DPJ Foundation, which has received funding from Welsh Government, to discuss the important work of the charity including combatting the stigma around mental health which complements the work that we are doing more broadly to support mental health.
Preventing suicide is a priority for Welsh Government but the risk factors for suicide are complex and require a multifaceted and multi-agency approach to address them. We have strengthened arrangements to improve the co-ordination of actions with partners including local authorities and the third sector. As part of our broader Together for Mental Health strategy and delivery plan, Welsh Government has provided £500,000 per year specifically to support suicide and self-harm prevention. This funding has supported the establishment of a National Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Co-ordinator and three Regional Co-ordinators to improve delivery and co-ordination in all parts of Wales as well as a range of local projects. Activity to prevent suicide and self-harm is now embedded across a number of programmes of work – for instance improving crisis care and access to services for children and young people. To support this work we have invested an additional £42million in mental health services from this year.