A TEAM of 16 Samaritans drawn from the York, Leeds and Harrogate branches will be on duty throughout the day at the Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show (YAMS) at Murton, York, on Wednesday, February 5, as part of a major initiative sparked by high suicide risk in the farming community.

ONS statistics show that one farmer a week dies by suicide and many more are badly injured in industrial accidents that are attributed to inattentiveness caused by stress and other mental health issues.

The Samaritans recognise that members of the rural community, in particular its farmers, are facing very difficult times and feel isolated and undervalued. The organisation's aims are to raise awareness of how The Samaritans can help them when they are in crisis and to let them know that they can talk to its members in a safe space about anything that is troubling them.

The Samaritans has 201 branches across the UK and Ireland, with more than 20,000 volunteers offering a 24-hour, seven-days-per-week freephone telephone service (116123) as well as SMS (07725 909090) and email (jo@samaritans.org) portals.

The Yorkshire and Humberside Region has 17 branches that are also open, at well publicised times, to receive callers who prefer to talk 'face to face'.