THE MP for North Shropshire has launched a call for action on service provision in rural areas by wearing a green ribbon for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Helen Morgan's call comes after the publication of an Environment and Rural Affairs Committee report finding isolation, poor public transport and a relative lack of digital connectivity as parts of a ‘pattern where rural communities’ needs are not fully reflected’ in the provision of services.

The report noted how rural workers including farmers and vets face particular stresses, issues familiar to many across Shropshire.

Cross-party suggestions to improve the situation include a new joint rural mental health policy and delivery team, DEFRA taking a more active role in national suicide prevention policy, the expansion of preventative mental health support, and an upgrade in local preparedness for the fallout from crises like flooding.

The Liberal Democrat MP said: “This Mental Health Awareness Week, I wanted to wear the green ribbon and raise the issue of provision in rural areas like North Shropshire.


“It’s particularly appropriate given the recent Parliamentary report which outlined how a toxic cocktail of poor public transport, poor digital connectivity, and rising rural isolation have led to a gap in service provision between rural areas and their urban counterparts.

“Every week, three people in the UK farming and agricultural industry die by suicide.

"The stresses of life and levels of isolation in these roles take a human toll on families up and down our county, and yet we see almost no real investment in the health services that could give the support people need.”

If you would like any help with bereavement, loss or mental wellbeing, here are some helpline numbers 

You can call the Samaritans on 116 123 

Papyrus Hopeline on 0800 068 4141 

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) 0300 111 5065 

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