Former Royal Marines are teaming up with an agricultural charity to deliver a mental health first aid initiative.
IED Training Solutions, which was developed by former Marine Ian Clark, will work with the charity RSABI, which supports farmers in Scotland, to deliver training aimed at encouraging people to talk more freely about mental health, reducing stigma and improving understanding about what to look out for and how to respond when someone may be struggling.
Carol McLaren, chief executive of RSABI, said: “There are many synergies between the Royal Marines and farming – from working in all weathers and challenging terrain to anti-social hours, time away from family and public scrutiny.
“This initiative comes at a time when there are some really encouraging green shoots of change as farmers and others working in agriculture become more open about talking about mental health and the steps needed to maintain and improve it.”
Participants will be offered the opportunity to gain certification in the SCQF level four award in first aid for mental health awareness, or a level five award in first aid for mental health.
Training will be delivered to organisations who work regularly on the front line with farmers and crofters.
Individuals will be provided with knowledge to recognise a range of mental health conditions, and how to provide practical support.
Mr Clark, who set up IED Training Solutions in 2015, said his team is excited to be working in collaboration with RSABI.
He said: “We have a great deal of respect and admiration for the work of the farming community to both provide food and look after the land.
“During recent times some great work has been done in the Royal Marines to encourage a really positive approach to achieving good mental health and we are very much looking forward to sharing that experience with the farming community.
“I think this training, and the cascade effect of the benefit, could be a major step forward for the industry.”
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