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Foot and mouth outbreak: lessons for mental health services

  • David F. Peck
Abstract

The 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak in the UK was widespread and devastating. Some areas (e.g. Cumbria) were very badly hit, but all farmers were affected to some degree. Huge numbers of animals, infected and healthy, were slaughtered. Tourism was badly affected. Data from three systematic studies found elevated levels of psychological morbidity among farmers and other rural workers, especially those directly affected. Most farmers turned to family and friends (and veterinary surgeons) for support; relatively few approached health or social services, mainly because they did not see their reactions as illness. Many farmers and other rural workers prefer to use supports within their own community, or anonymous supports such as self-help materials or computer-based treatments. Mental health services should take account of these preferences by adopting an educational and consultative role in any similar outbreak.

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References
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 1355-5146
  • EISSN: 1472-1481
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-advances
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Foot and mouth outbreak: lessons for mental health services

  • David F. Peck
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