GMHBA – supporting the mental health of our farmers

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GMHBA has partnered with the National Centre for Farmer Health on some key initiatives designed to increase mental health awareness amongst young people in rural areas.

This year alone, one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, with the proportion of people accessing treatment half that of people with physical disorders.

People struggling with mental health issues who are living in regional and rural areas can often find it difficult to seek and source help.  And with many of our farmers currently facing challenging situations with climate and market volatility, maintaining good mental health becomes even more important.

So GMHBA is proud to support the great work the National Centre for Farmer Health does to promote positive health and wellbeing for our farmers.

The Farmer Health in a Changing World photo competition held earlier in September, formed part of the 2018 National Centre for Farmer Health Conference ‘Good health, wellbeing and safety: Making a difference to farmers’ lives’. 

The competition was aimed at inspiring and educating Australians about the importance of farming, particularly at a time when the industry is changing rapidly. It encouraged the community to share their vision of all that is changing in agriculture and farming—the challenges and the opportunities, to help broaden understanding of farmer health, wellbeing and safety.

The winners were announced last week and showcased at the 2018 conference in Hamilton.

GMHBA is also supporting a digital storytelling workshop, which is calling for enthusiastic rural people to share their own story and experiences.

Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative and digital content to create a short movie with a strong emotional component, that enables personal perspective to be communicated. 

The workshop, taking place in Hamilton from 25 – 27 September, is targeting young adults who have navigated a mental health challenge and want to learn how share their journey in a powerful and creative way. Participants will be passionate about making a difference to farmers’ and rural community members’ lives. 

GMHBA’s General Manager of Health Services, Dr Sarah Leach, said the organisation is proud to partner with the National Centre for Farmer Health to promote more conversations around mental health.

“Almost every Australian will see the effects of mental illness in a family member, friend or work colleague at some time in their lives,” Dr Leach said.

“We care deeply about rural and regional Australians. This partnership cements our commitment to improving the mental health of our community and addresses a significant and timely opportunity to support those living in rural and remote areas.”

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