HC Deb 11 February 1998 vol 306 c257W
Mr. Llwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he is taking to reduce the suicide rate of farmers in rural Wales; and if he will make a statement. [28008]

Mr. Win Griffiths

This is an area of great concern for us and we are taking a number of measures to address it.

The Mental Illness Strategy provides a framework for a comprehensive range of services to be developed across Wales, to provide care and support locally. We have set as a health target the reduction in the number of suicides across Wales. More specifically, we have funded the Institute of Rural Health in Gregynog to undertake a study of suicide in Powys, in order to examine specific Welsh factors leading to such tragedies. We have been involved also in a conference to identify the causes of rural stress and to create a strategy to tackle the issues. The Rural Stress Information Network was launched on 4 December 1996 and provides a vital link between Government, farming industry and the voluntary sector on all matters concerning rural stress.