Welsh farmers are failing to seek help when they are stressed or depressed, leading to a high rate of suicide, a report by the Institute of Rural Health for the Welsh Assembly has concluded. The report, which examined services in Powys and Ceredigion, found a culture of self-reliance among farmers, the 'stigma' attached to mental illness and a belief that existing services would not help them contributed to the problem. Powys, the most rural county of Wales, had a suicide rate of 15 per 100,000 in 1995, compared with 12.3 per 100,000 for all of Wales. The report says better training for professionals in recognising the symptoms of stress and depression, a reduction in the stigma related to it, and better channels of communication with farmers are needed.

Farm Suicide in Rural Wales: a review of services in Powys and Ceredigion. Institute of Rural Health, Gregynog Hall, Newtown, Powys SY16 3PW.£5.