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Farmers to share tales over snags

TONGS AT THE READY: Michelle Debenham and Bec Casey are encouraging farmers and tradies to attend HALT barbecues and talk about their mental health.

FARMING can be a mentally challenging career.

Farmers face unreliable prices, variable weather, expensive costs,

often work in isolation, and don’t feel able to talk about the pressures of the job.

This can lead to farmers experiencing stress and mental health issues at higher rates than those in other occupations.

It’s a fact not lost on Inverloch dairy farmer Bec Casey.

“Dairy farmers have had fantastic prices this year, but we have seen really bad prices in recent years,” she said.

“The rest of the country is in drought and so that sends our grain bills and fertiliser costs up.”

Ms Casey is doing something about the plight facing many people in her industry.

On Monday, November 11, Bec and her husband Glenn will host an event at their property to encourage farmers to gather and talk.

The Save Your Bacon BBQ is one of a series of barbecue events being run by HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies Local Farmers) Wellways Australia, the Primary Health Network, Leongatha Community House, and Nature of Business Consulting.

The HALT project is dedicated to supporting men and women working in trades and farming in remote and regional areas.

HALT co-founder Jeremy Forbes will talk about the experience of losing his best mate to suicide and how it’s important for men to discuss their problems with their friends or family.

Guests will receive HALT bags carrying an important message to take home, with information about mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.

There will be some tips for managing stress, depression and anxiety, and where to go if you or a mate need help.

Bec has been joined by Michelle Debenham of Kardella who is the chair of The Suicide Prevention Network in Leongatha.

“Evidence has shown us that when people are struggling, being asked about it and listened to without judgement can often lead to a sense of relief. You don’t have to be an expert to listen,” Ms Debenham said.

 “It’s important for us to bring everyone together because we know that social connection can improve mental wellbeing.”

People who are worried about someone at risk of suicide can follow four steps:

  • Recognise the suicide warning signs and signals early.
  • Ask the question and listen without judgement
  • Get help. Do it for them if required book a GP appointment, call Lifeline or Suicide Call Back Service.
  • Check in with them afterwards.

There are two Halt events running on Monday, November 11:  a free barbecue breakfast at 7.30am at Mitre 10 in Leongatha for local tradies.

Then there will be the free sausage sizzle lunch at Casey Farm, 6280 Bass Highway, Inverloch at 11.30am for the appreciation of our farmers lunch.

 

 

FACT BOX

If you need help, call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14 – lifeline.org.au
  • Mensline: 1300 789 978
  • Q-life (LGBTIQ+): 1800 184 527
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service: 1800 686 175
  • National Centre for Farmer Health: farmerhealth.org.au

 

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30282

Posted by on Nov 6 2019. Filed under Featured, Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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