Charity (no. 1190443)


"Helping those in agriculture and rural businesses who may be affected by stress and depression."

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

Many people involved with agriculture can feel isolated, depressed or unable to cope as well as normal. 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a problem with depression so it is important to know that you, or the person you are concerned about, are not alone. Those who work in agriculture are often reluctant to seek support for depression, stress or anxiety. However, talking about your problems and seeking appropriate help can make it easier to cope and improve your quality of life. Remember that depression is an illness not a weakness. If you are involved with agriculture or farming in any way and are feeling low or if you are worried about a member of your family, a colleague or a friend, YANA can help. Remember, you don’t have to struggle by yourself - good help is available. 

If you are very seriously worried about the mental state of someone go to our Concerned about someone page NOW. Don’t hesitate to take action.

YANA can offer specific help for those involved in any way with farming or agriculture in East Anglia - but wherever you live and farm you might find these pages useful.

The pressures of agriculture - today people in agriculture have to deal with common pressures from a number of sources, such as:

  • Financial issues: borrowings and poor return on capital
  • Increased regulation
  • Irregular weather patterns
  • Animal diseases
  • Marketing produce
  • Family expectations and succession planning
  • Workplace isolation
  • Lack of respite from work

These are just some of the factors that can result in depression and anxiety. Other causes can be an upsetting event, a chemical imbalance in the brain, a relationship breakup or a family pre-disposition to depression. Common symptoms can include:

  • Low mood (sadness, frequently tearful or unable to cry)
  • Anxiety – worrying obsessively, or out of proportion to the problem
  • Changes in appetite (loss of appetite or increased appetite)
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Lack of energy/feeling tired
  • Reliance on alcohol
  • Lack of interest in family and friends
  • Unable to enjoy hobbies as before
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Confused thinking, poor concentration and difficulty in making decisions
  • A change in personality (such as uncharacteristic aggression)
  • Negative thoughts

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, remember, you are not alone in feeling this way. Stress and depression are very common in agriculture. Talk to friends, colleagues or your doctor and you will be surprised at just how many people have suffered in the same way. You will find help, support, empathy and understanding.

Our Services Are

Free Subsidised Donation Appreciated

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What We Do


Call our helpline 0300 323 0400 for confidential support or email [email protected]If you are involved with farming or another rural business in any way and are feeling low or if you are worried about a member of your family, a colleague or a friend, YANA can help.


A call to our helpline can give you fast track access to a professional counsellor. If you live in East Anglia: YANA can fund up to 6 sessions. 

The funding offer is not means tested and YANA does not need to know your name. The only requirement is that applicants must be involved in agriculture in its broadest sense (e.g. farmer, farming family members, all farm staff, contractors, agricultural merchant, members of Young Farmers, etc.) If you are at all unsure of whether you are eligible simply call our helpline number on 0300 323 0400 and we'll be pleased help.

Mental Health Training

YANA organises Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training courses in East Anglia.

Our courses, which are free to attend, last for two full days. They are run by accredited MHFA England trainers, who are dedicated professionals and understand the mental health pressures in rural areas and qualify you as a Mental Health First Aider.  Find out more here.

Plan of Action

What should you do if you are feeling depressed or anxious? Here is a Plan of Action that might help. If you think a friend or family member may be suffering go to our concerned about someone page to find out how you can help. If you think you might be suffering from depression, making that first phone call is a major step forward. If you feel you just cannot make that call, ask a friend to do it. Remember: YANA is here to help. So are your doctor and other support agencies. You Are Not Alone and do not have to “tough it out” The best thing is talk to your own doctor – it's best if a health professional makes the diagnosis of depression. Your symptoms might have another cause.

  • Visit your GP promptly: Like any other illness, depression may become worse if left untreated.
    • Be honest and say exactly how you feel: Whatever you say will be in total confidence – even if you know the doctor socially. Depression is not unusual and your GP can provide support, referral to counselling, psychotherapy or medication.
    • Ensure that you understand your treatment: Take any medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you are unsure or don’t feel that you’re getting better, go back again. Remember that modern day antidepressants are not addictive, although you shouldn’t stop taking them suddenly or without the advice of your doctor.
  • Call the confidential YANA Helpline on 0300 323 0400: you might have reasons for not wanting to visit your own doctor, want additional support or just need someone else to talk to: we are here to help.
    • YANA is here for anyone who works in farming, agriculture or any related profession/job. By calling the YANA helpline you can speak to someone who really understands the industry and its problems. YANA provides unique support and advice for the wide farming community from sympathetic GPs and counsellors. Anything you discuss is "off the record" and totally confidential. Funding for counselling is available to those who live in Norfolk, Suffolk and Worcestershire (see Funding page)
  • Learn more about stress and depression: More understanding of the illness can help you manage better. You might find it helpful to read one of the books listed on our reading list on our Additional Help page
  • Talk to family, friends or colleagues: Don’t feel embarrassed about admitting that you might have depression. It is far more common than you may think and is an illness after all.
  • Contact a counsellor: Your doctor will be able to provide details, through the counsellors’ professional organisations list on our Additional Help page or, if you live in Norfolk, Suffolk or Worcestershire, you can call the YANA helpline on 0300 323 0400 to be put in touch with the YANA counsellors. Talking therapies such as cognitive behaviour therapy or psychotherapy can help you to understand why and how you feel as you do. They can help you develop strategies to change how you think about things and are useful when used on their own or in combination with medication.
  • Financial or practical problems? There are excellent support services available specifically for the farming community such as R.A.B.I. (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution), The Farming Community Network and other helpful information can be found in The Directory of National Rural Support Groups. You can find further details on our Additional Help page.

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We are always looking for people that are passionate about making a difference. As a charity, volunteers have always been, and will always remain, at the heart of YANA.

Our volunteers are the crucial connection with our rural communities, enabling us to improve mental health in East Anglia, specifically for those involved with agricultural and rural businesses.

Read more about how we work with volunteers on our website.

Concerned about someone?

What to do if you are worried about someone else.

  • Listen to their concerns: Getting things off their chest may help to ease their immediate stress. Telling them “everything will be ok” or “pull yourself together” is NOT helpful.
  • Be supportive: Although you might not be able to provide direct help, offer them comfort and reassurance
  • Respect their confidence: Someone who is depressed may have trouble opening up about their problem so it’s important if they feel they can trust you
  • Most importantly, encourage them to seek professional help: Offer to go with them if they would find it helpful
  • Take advice yourself on how to help: Find out more about stress and depression
  • As a partner or friend, you can advise their GP if you are concerned about their health: The GP cannot discuss their patient with you but your information might be useful

If you think someone is in crisis and having suicidal thoughts, please take action immediately. A person could be at risk of taking their own life if they are very seriously depressed or if they are trying to cope with multiple serious life events e.g. a relationship has broken down, business problems and a bereavement.

  • Contact their GP and inform them that it is urgent
  • Contact Samaritans: (Call 116 123) Samaritans provide help and emotional support 24/7 to anyone who needs support. If you are worried about someone, they can give you support too. You do not have to give your name.
  • Contact the Maytree Centre: (Call 020 7263 7070) Based in North London, Maytree is a residential sanctuary for the suicidal. It takes guests for four days to help them through a crisis. It is totally confidential and you don't need a doctor's referral.
  • Remove keys to chemical stores and gun cabinets: think about other risk factors: this might allow time for the person in crisis to seek the professional help they need and your actions could save a life.
  • Police advise that if you believe there is an urgent need to remove a firearm (a rifle or shotgun) and the owner is willing to allow it, you may remove it immediately.
  • Be vigilant: Try not to leave the person on their own, if possible
  • Show the person you genuinely care: This can often be enough in itself to prevent the person from taking their life in a moment of crisis

Don't be afraid to make that call or raise your concerns: Your actions could save a life.

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Additional Info


If a person in crisis owns a firearm you will no doubt be worried that taking steps to have it removed may get them into trouble, resulting in them having their firearms certificate removed and also that if you take steps to remove it there may be adverse implications for you. There is a huge misconception that if you have suffered or are suffering from depression or stress, you will automatically be refused a shotgun or firearm certificate. The Norfolk Police advise that this is not the case. There are numerous certificate holders that have been treated for depression and stress related issues and yet still are granted a certificate.

For Norfolk and Suffolk: If you do remove someone's firearms, the Firearms Licensing Department should be contacted immediately so that arrangements can be made for the firearm to be handed into the police. In these circumstances the police will accept that you acted responsibly and will not consider any sanctions against you. In any other circumstances or for general advice on removing firearms please contact the Joint Firearms Licensing Department on 01953 424141by email

For an emergency situation involving a firearm, you should ring the police on 101 or 999.

Additional Help

Where to go for further help and advice

There are some excellent support organisations that exist to provide additional help – You can be assured that contact with any of the following is strictly confidential:

  • R.A.B.I. (The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution):
    0800 188 4444 Can provide financial support for farmers in times of crisis such as illness, bereavement or events beyond their control.
  • The Farming Community Network 0845 367 9990 Has a network of volunteers from the farming community and rural churches providing pastoral and practical support to help people find a positive way through their problems.
  • Samaritans116 123 Provides help and emotional support at any time of the day or night. You do not have to give your name.
  • The Maytree Centre020 7263 7070Based in North London, a residential sanctuary for the suicidal. It takes guests for four days to help them through a crisis. It is totally confidential and you don't need a doctor's referral.
  • Mental Health Foundation020 7803 1100 Their vision is for a world with good mental health for all. Their mission is to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.
  • Mind:  0300 123 3393 Provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Relate0300 100 1234 The relationship people. Contact them by phone or email to find your nearest counsellor, who you can contact directly. They have useful self-help information about relationships and family issues on their national Relate website.

Links to other helpful websites

Reading List

  • Overcoming Depression: a guide to recovery with a complete self help programme - Paul Gilbert
  • Climbing out of depression - Sue Atkinson
  • Taming the black dog: How to beat depression - a practical manual for sufferers, their relatives and colleagues - Patrick Ellverton
  • Overcoming Anxiety, Stress and Panic - Dr Chris Williams
  • Stop Thinking, Start Living: Discover Lifelong Happiness - Richard Carlson

YANA acts a signposting service, encouraging those who might be affected by depression to seek appropriate help. It does not replace advice from a health professional. YANA recommends users of our website to seek a professional diagnosis.

National Directory of Rural Support Groups

You can view, download and print the directory as a PDF document here 

Request hard copies by email: admin

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