RSABI invest in young farmers’ mental health

SAYFC National Manager Sheena Foster, RSABI CEO Carol McLaren and Chair of Biggar Young Farmers Club Ross Jackson
Katharine Johnston

For the first time in the UK, a mental wellbeing app is being rolled out to young farmers in a pilot scheme to support young people in the Scottish agricultural industry.

Scottish agriculture charity, RSABI is working with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC) to trial the Thrive Mental Wellbeing app in three of its clubs across Scotland. The app, available to almost four million users worldwide and approved by the NHS, includes access to a live in-app chat feature with qualified therapists available at the touch of a button.

The first time the app has been adopted within the agriculture industry in the UK, those taking part will be able to access a wide range of resources on mindfulness, relaxation techniques and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). For those who need further support in-app therapy is available with qualified in-house therapists between 8am and 8pm to chat confidentially about any worries or stressors.

Fully funded by RSABI, the service is being trialled in Aberfeldy, Biggar and Bell Baxter Young Farmers’ Clubs for the next 12 months.    

Carol McLaren, RSABI Chief Executive said: “We know mental health and wellbeing is a major priority for young farmers, which is why we’re delighted to be running this pilot of Thrive with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs. 

“We hope the app will help everyone taking part to look after their mental wellbeing, just as they would their physical health, and enable them to access the level of support they need – whether that’s using the in-app therapy or using the resources to improve sleep and resilience against stress. The app is also helpful for those who want to support a friend, family member or colleague who is struggling. 

“The pilot of the Thrive app is part of our drive to encourage more young people to use RSABI’s services. It follows the introduction of a 24-hour confidential webchat service on our website, as well as extending our Freephone Helpline to run 24 hours a day.

“If you’re involved in Scottish agriculture and struggling with your mental wellbeing, RSABI can help in a number of ways, including practical and financial support. Our free, confidential support service is available 24/7, including over Christmas and New Year. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling Freephone 0808 1234 555, emailing or using the webchat service on our website.”

Annabel Brown, SAYFC’s Development and Wellbeing Chair said: “We are delighted to be working alongside RSABI and Thrive to pilot this app with Young Farmers across Scotland. With so many challenges facing young people, this app will provide a range of support and resources to help improve their mental health and wellbeing.” 

Sarah Singleton, Senior Relationship Manager at Thrive is delighted to be extending the reach of digital Mental Health services and had this to say:
“At Thrive we are continuously looking at the impact we can have on Mental Health. Partnering with RSABI gives us the opportunity to support those working in agriculture with an end-to-end Mental Health and Wellbeing service.

“Since our inception ten years ago, we have built a service designed with the individual at the centre. Providing faster and easier access to valuable tools like CBT to help not just those who are unwell, but those who are well and looking to build their resilience and all our users wanting to develop coping mechanisms and understanding around Mental Health to support colleagues and loved ones. 

“We are really proud to support Young Farmers in Scotland through our relationship with RSABI and look forward to continuing to develop the support available.”