Novel RSABI Stress Bucket To Promote Good Mental Health

RSABI #KeepTalking ambassador Jim Smith is pictured receiving a pre Royal Highland Show tidy up with some golden Wahl clippers by the Kilted Barber, Campbell Ewen.
Susan Thomson

Visitors to the Royal Highland Show are being encouraged to try an innovative “Stress Bucket” being launched by RSABI as part of a range of initiatives by the charity to encourage good mental health.

The bespoke Stress Bucket, made from recycled farm materials and designed to raise awareness around mental health in agriculture, focuses on the common causes of stress build-up experienced in farming. It displays in a simple and engaging way how stress can be reduced through steps such as exercise, good sleep, a balanced diet, and talking with a friend or family member.

RSABI will be located at the main Scottish Association of Young Farmers Stand, next to the Members’ Pavilion, where visitors will also be encouraged to think about the benefits of taking a break from the farm, via a competition to win a four-night stay at The Mill, courtesy of the Scott family, Fearn, Tain.

The charity will also be conducting a survey of young farmers to help improve understanding of how best to ensure younger people in agriculture are aware of the services offered by RSABI, including free counselling.

Visitors to the SAYFC stand will be able to view entries into the SAYFC national photography competition which is sponsored by specialist machinery dealership, The Hamilton Ross Group, an official partner of RSABI. The photography theme for this year is #KeepTalking, dedicated to an ongoing RSABI initiative encouraging farmers and crofters to stay connected with one another, particularly those who might be feeling isolated.

There will be the opportunity to have a #KeepTalking temporary tattoo for show week, to encourage people to connect and look out for each other.

In an effort to encourage farmers to think about their physical health, RSABI have also enlisted the help of a nurse who will be on hand at the RSABI stand to take attendees’ blood pressure on Saturday and Sunday and discuss any health concerns they might have.

Quality Meat Scotland are kindly selling their legendary Royal Highland Show t-shirts in aid of RSABI and we will also have a presence at the Lister marquee (Friday to Sunday) next to the Golden Shears pavilion where mental health trained barbers will be offering a tidy up to showgoers free of charge in a quiet space where people can relax. Among those being trimmed is Peter Beattie of Quality Meat Scotland who will be undergoing a radical transformation, having been growing his hair since Lockdown!

“The RSABI team are very much looking forward to meeting visitors to the show and to raising awareness of the wide range of support we are able. The stress bucket test is good fun for all ages but also has a very serious message about the importance of building in steps to manage our stress levels so our bucket doesn’t overflow,” said Carol McLaren, Chief Executive of RSABI.

“We will also have a nurse with us all weekend to check blood pressures and we’ll be encouraging people to make time to check with a health professional if they have any concerns about their physical and mental health. Too often farmers and others working in agriculture put off taking steps when there is a concern because they are busy with work but the earlier they take action the better the chances are of tackling the problem.”

Members of RSABI’s welfare team will be on the stand each day and there will be a quiet space to go to, to explain the support we can offer. The RSABI stand will also be welcoming some of the teams taking part in our Great Glen Challenge in August and our sponsors Gillespie Macandrew along with some of the Prince’s Countryside Fund team who RSABI have been working with to deliver their Farm Resilience Programme.

The charity will also be urging showgoers to consider becoming members of its Supporters’ Scheme which is a vital source of funding for its important work supporting people involved in agriculture who have found themselves in difficult times.

RSABI offers free practical, financial and emotional support including counselling services, delivered quickly after receiving the initial enquiry. RSABI has a 24-hour freephone Helpline – 0808 1234 555 – and confidential webchat service, available on its website