Sinn Féin Councillor Pól Ó Gribín has welcomed the extension of the ‘Tackling Rural Stress: Promoting Positive Mental Health’ scheme until March 2016.
Cllr Ó Gribín said: “This initiative is part of Rural Support Scheme to support farmers, rural dwellers and their families who have come under financial stress and who are now suffering mental anguish due to it.
“I welcome the fact that the scheme has been extended to March 2016 as many farmers are becoming burdened with debt and don’t know how to handle the issue.
“I would appeal to farmers and their families who find themselves in this position to contact 0845 606 7607 and get confidential impartial advice on tackling their debt problems.
“It is important that people get help as soon as possible as the scheme has helped so many people since it started in September 2014 and has shown how support and advice can help resolve the problem.”
This initiative has also been supported by South Down MLA Chris Hazzard who said that this rural proofing measure helps bridge the rural urban divide.
Mr Hazzard said: “This week we have moved a step closer in securing the legislative framework required to ensure people in rural areas have the same access to services and opportunities as those in urban areas.
“I welcome the announcement that the Executive has approved the final policy proposals of the Rural Proofing Bill, because rural communities shouldn’t have to fight for basic services that are taken for granted in large town and cities. “This, if fully implemented, will positively impact South Down. Some of the campaigns we are working on that would benefit, are the restoration of services at Down Hospital, access to broadband, job creation, road safety and bus shelter provision.”]]>