The myth of affluent and leisurely rural England means
countryside mental health problems caused by poverty are ignored, a
conference heard last week.
June McKerrow, Mental Health Foundation director, said high
suicide rates of one person a week among farm workers were
exacerbated by deprivation. ‘If a farm worker loses his job, he not
only loses his livelihood but has the other stress that his home
might be under threat,’ she said.
People in the country are also concerned resources will be hit
by government policy emphasis on severely mentally ill people, who
tend to congregate in towns.
Resources are channelled to towns and cities because indices of
deprivation are skewed against rural poverty, said Jan Sherlock,
senior information officer at Good Practices in Mental Health.