New counselling service for gamekeepers and families

PUBLISHED: 16:43 05 January 2021

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A specialised new helpline from the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust seeks to help mental health sufferers

The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust (GWT) - which supports working and retired gamekeepers, stalkers and their families - has launched a new helpline, Jamie’s Helpline. Health has always been paramount to keepers’ working lives, as their work is so physically demanding. However, the effects on the individual gamekeeper and their family from mental ill health has caused alarm more recently.

That’s why Jamie’s Helpline, along with counselling services, resilience training and associated support has been made available. The GWT is not a membership organisation; this is a free, confidential service which adds to the range of support services that the GWT offers across the UK.

Jamie’s Helpline is a vital tool in reaching out to gamekeepers and their families, offering a friendly voice to listen and support them for as long as required, whatever the issue. It is clear that professional counselling is the next step for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or other mental illness often connected with the pressures of the job. And the GWT is reaching out to the gamekeeping community to offer that support, linking sufferers with professional counsellors who understand the nature of the profession.

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Professor Ann Mortimer, Professor Emeritus at University of Hull, consultant psychiatrist and BASC council member said: “The GWT initiative is greatly welcomed as a source of professional support during these very difficult times. Given that shotgun and firearms certification is an essential part of the gamekeeper’s role, most are naturally apprehensive about seeking help with low mood or anxiety. Without help, there may be an escalating and substantial compromise of emotional wellbeing, borne alone. Counselling represents a way forward, offering potential resolution and personal support.”

Helpline: 0300 1233088

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