RSABI keeping a healthy eye on farmers

RSABI provides practical, emotional and financial support to all people involved in the Scottish agricultural industry and they are intent on continuing that work into 2024.

Health initiatives have been to the fore recently, and they’ve been awarded a grant of £80,000 from the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust for the charity’s ambitious drive to improve farmers’ mental health.

RSABI has recently launched a tranche of initiatives which focus on driving improvements in mental health in Scottish farming and crofting communities, along with its other support services.

It has rolled out licences for the Thrive Wellbeing app following a successful trial with three young farmers clubs and is currently piloting a Health Hut initiative at Thainstone Mart, aimed at supporting both physical and mental wellbeing.

One of the most exciting new programmes the charity has embarked on, which the NFU Mutual Charitable Trust funding is helping to support, is the Mental Health First Aid training which is being delivered in partnership with former Royal Marines at IED Training Solutions.

“We wanted to learn from the experience of the Royal Marines’ ‘Lifting the Lid’ initiative which focused on reducing the stigma previously associated with mental health in the service,” said Carol McLaren, Chief Executive of RSABI.

“There are also lots of synergies between the lifestyle of marines and farmers, from living and working in one place to weather, terrain, and anti-social hours and this is resonating well with those taking part.”

Farmers attending last year’s Aberdeen Christmas Classic at Thainstone were offered a free health “MOT”.

The Health Hut initiative gave attendees the opportunity for a check-up, including blood pressure, early diabetes detection and cholesterol testing, through the pioneering project run by RSABI working with the ANM Group.

Meanwhile the Thrive Wellbeing App – an award-winning, digital mental health care service – has been rolled out across the Scottish agricultural community.

Following a 12-month pilot project with three young farmers clubs (Biggar, Aberfeldy and Bell Baxter), the app is now available to almost four million users worldwide and NHS Digitally Compliant, includes access to a live in-app chat feature with qualified therapists available at the touch of a button.

It also offers a range of supportive content, including 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 available between 8am and 8pm to chat confidentially about any worries or stressors.

Chris McVey, RSABI Welfare Manager said: “The Thrive Wellbeing app is packed with a range of resources, and it is up to the user to decide which they want to use. The aim is to help increase resilience and help people deal with stress as well as offering help with other mental health-related issues.”

For information about getting access to the Thrive Wellbeing App CLICK HERE.

RSABI offers free practical, financial, and emotional support including counselling services, delivered quickly after receiving the initial enquiry. Its free confidential support service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by calling 0808 1234 555 (calls won’t show up on phone bills) or through a confidential webchat service, available on RSABI’s website.


  • Pictured is ANM auctioneer Colin Slessor at the Health Hut at Thainstone at last year’s Aberdeen Christmas Classic with RSABI nurse, Irene Scott.