Thursday, May 18, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

New Book Gives Farmers Hope

A new book entitled ‘Mental Health on the Land’ is offering local farmers guidance and support for coping with mental strain they may experience due to the uncertainties within their industry.

The book, which was created by Royal Flying Doctors Service and funded by Thankful4Farmers, is an invaluable guide written specifically for growing areas of challenge for rural people.

It includes information on maintaining healthy relationships, reducing loneliness, stress management, strategies to cope in difficult times, seeking help for mental health conditions, suicide prevention and details for further mental health resources.

Earlier this month Bowen Gumlu Growers Association (BGGA) hosted a special event which was held at Flagstaff Hill and attended by farmers, industry, and community representatives from in and outside of the region.

Carl Walker, President of BGGA said he’s seen first-hand the impact that mental health challenges have had on friends and many farmers who are struggling with the stress of farming today.

"Often, as farmers, we don't realise the impact that these challenges - we just get on with the job, but it can take a toll,” he explains.

“This book brings awareness, makes us feel like we're not alone, and provides us with the tools we need to help manage our mental health and wellbeing."

Mr Walker states that a high percentage of mental health issues stem from uncertainties within the industry.

“Just when we think we are in for a bumper season we are hit with bad weather and the whole season is a write-off,” he said.

“We invest time and money into the crop and just like that it’s gone and there is nothing we can do about it. It takes its toll on our health and we are told as farmers we are resilient and tough.

“But the industry needs to change the narrative and recognise that it is ok not to be ok so people can ask for help when they need it.”

There was a good turn-out at the book launch at Flagstaff Hill. Photo supplied

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