Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust

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Aarun Naik: Report published

2015 Scholar, Aarun Naik’s report is now available on the Nuffield International website. Below is the executive summary of his report, titled:‘Supporting farmer wellbeing: addressing mental health in agriculture and horticulture’.



Report Title       

Supporting farmer wellbeing: addressing mental health in agriculture and horticulture


Aarun Naik


Countries visited

The John Oldacre Foundation

United Kingdom, France, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand




Objectives of the study tour: 

  1. To explore and better understand issues of stress, depression and mental ill health in general amongst farming communities, and some of the unique factors that influence these issues.
  2. To learn from the range of different approaches other countries have taken to address the same challenges



  • Farming communities across the world are struggling with issues of stress and mental ill health and the pressures faced by farmers appear to be increasing
  • Mental health in farming must be tackled both ‘upstream’ and ‘downstream’. In addition to downstream approaches supporting those in immediate or emergency need, those upstream also need to be targeted with preventative, awareness-raising measures
  • Pre-emptive measures to support the mental and emotional health of affected communities can be front-loaded as part of industry responses to acute farming crisis
  • There are now well understood, science-based, strategies and behaviours known to help build mental and emotional resilience. Farmers adopting such measures are likely to be better placed to cope with the many stresses and pressure of farming
  • Farmers speaking out publicly and openly sharing their own personal experiences of mental health difficulty can be a hugely effective way of engaging fellow farmers on the topic and help to erode stigma
  • Achieving cultural and behavioural change in mental health and wellbeing will take time. It requires long-term vision, investment and commitment.


See Aarun’s report at: