Clinical psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy has said that he cannot understand how agribusinesses do not have mental health support services in place for farmers in this country.

Speaking at the Irish Tillage and Land Use Society’s winter conference last week, he said that agriculture is our indigenous industry and compared it to BMW in Germany. He added that with all of the companies involved in agriculture he finds it hard to understand how there’s not an employee assistance programme set up for farmers.

While he said there are some brilliant voluntary helplines, he wanted more to be done.

“I think it’s something that these global companies could put together and have something available for farmers and their families when they need it then and there. It’s beyond me that people aren’t minded in the industry that’s so important to the country.

“I think it’s a very simple thing [for these companies] to put back in, because the systems are there. It’s just bringing those systems on board for farmers and their families. It just doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.