Mental Health and Dementia

A growing concern.

Older person looking at photos from past

The Challenge

Mental health and wellbeing are as important as physical health. Most of us will be affected at some time or other in our lives, from feeling anxious and depressed, lack of self-esteem to becoming too reliant on drink or drugs. For some, this can lead to self-harm or suicidal thoughts, especially where they have few opportunities to share worries and talk to friends. Others may experience conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder or suffer from dementia.

As we grow older, the likelihood of developing some form of dementia or problem with our memory, cognitive powers and ability to communicate increases. In rural communities with a higher proportion of older people than urban areas, we have a challenge to adapt to support those affected, their families and carers.

Person on bench in front of autumn trees

Specialist support may be further away and peer support harder to reach as it can be difficult to be open about such conditions within smaller communities. It is doubly important for rural communities to:

  • not stigmatise anyone experiencing mental health issues
  • educate and support each other to be comfortable interacting with those affected in a supportive and responsive way
  • understand what helps us all keep well and deal with common issues, such as stress or anxiety.


of NHS expenditure on long-term conditions is linked to poor mental health and wellbeing

Glass of wine

Alcohol or drug dependency: This is not confined to the young people of the inner cities. This is a real and dangerous problem whoever you are, whatever your age and wherever you live.

Farming Community Network (FCN)

Help with Health Issues