Grain Producers Australia (GPA) is supporting calls for more affirmative action to boost mental health support and services for farmers and rural communities, after the release of a new report.
The National Farmer Wellbeing Report, commissioned by Norco and the National Farmers’ Federation, highlighted key issues that need urgent attention, based on recent survey results.
GPA Chair and WA grain producer Barry Large said the new analysis provided valuable insights that need acting on and thanked the authors for their contribution.
Mr Large said the report also reinforced GPA’s work that’s helping to raise greater awareness and understanding of mental health issues and reduce stigmas in farming communities.
Pic: Brad Hogg speaking at the #6Bs Beach Sundowner in Esperance WA at Wharton Beach last month.
“In recognising the importance of mental health, GPA established a unique partnership last year which is delivering mental health outcomes that align with the Report’s recommendations,” he said.
“In particular, supporting farmers to check-in on their mates and staying connected with family and friends – especially during the tough times – talking to each other, to solve problems.
“GPA’s Farmer Mates Mental Health initiative is a ready-made opportunity for anyone in the Australian farm sector looking to demonstrate real action. We welcome wider engagement with others who want to work together and help tackle these issues.
“We invite other partners who want to join our strong team; those who share our values and desire to take real action for farmers and our communities and make a genuine difference.”
Mr Large said Australian cricketing legend Brad Hogg, who hails from a WA wheatbelt farming family, is GPA’s inaugural national mental health ambassador. This initiative extends Brad's work as an Ambassador for Lifeline WA, to host events in rural communities throughout Australia, helping break down stigmas around mental health and bring farmers and communities together.
These events are also attended by Rural Aid’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Team to provide professional support and engagement. This program is supported by Lifeline and backed by Nufarm.
Brad has already been to a number of events this year and will be attending field days later this year as part of the main program, hosted with GPA’s State Members who are also NFF members.
“GPA is proud to be supporting Brad’s work to champion these messages and help build greater resilience for our farmers and farming communities,” Mr Large said.
“But there’s so much more than we can and need to do – as the National Farmer Wellbeing Report has clearly highlighted.
“We want to grow and strengthen this program and deliver even better outcomes in future.”
· Elders Farmfest, Toowoomba, Qld, June 6-8
· AgQuip, Gunnedah, NSW, August 22-24
· Yorke Peninsula Field Days, Paskeville, SA, September 26-28
· Elmore Field Days, Elmore, Vic, October 3-5
Lifeline’s 24/7 telephone crisis support service is available on 13 11 14
Rural Aid’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team intake line 1300 17 55 94 - Head Office 1300 327 624
Farmer Mates Mental Health website and event dates HERE
· Rural Aid’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Team supports a holistic approach, to provide support that looks at the whole person, not just their mental health needs. The support should also consider their physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.