Countryside group hires stress officer to combat unease

A charity has hired a rural stress officer to combat the rising tide of discontent in the countryside.

The Rural Stress Information Network, an umbrella organisation working with farming and rural support groups, claims thousands of people in isolated areas are suffering in silence.

The 250 calls the organisation receives each week to its helpline has prompted it to employ Emma Boyd to work with those afflicted, and to improve services in rural Berkshire and Dorset.

Boyd, who was previously a policy officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will assess what support is available across the two counties.

"We need a structured approach to use these support charities," said James Morrish, development officer for the network.

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