Supporting mental health in our farming communities

The Victorian Government is supporting the mental health of farmers across the state, rolling out projects to build resilience in more than 25 local government areas.

Programs will be run from the Bass Coast to Buloke, from the Gippsland Lakes to the Grampians – and Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas was at Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre in western Victoria to see the benefits of the initiative.

The Resilient Farming Communities Project is a two-year joint Agriculture Victoria and Department of Health initiative to support farmers, farming families and communities to better manage stress and improve their health.

Eleven councils, Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) and private organisations will share in $2.9 million to deliver programs that will increase awareness of mental health treatment options and care and support services, and enhance social connectedness through community events and training.

Initiatives include outreach services, on-farm health workshops, wellbeing plans for rural communities, the delivery of resilience programs in secondary schools, and mental health first aid training.

The Grampians Pyrenees PCP has received funding for The Resourceful Farmers’ Project, which is being delivered in partnership with local community organisations including Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre to build resilience through mental health training, pop-up clinics and events which foster social connections.

Grant recipients are working closely with their communities to co-develop programs that will cater to the needs of farmers.

The Resilient Farming Communities Project is part of the $20 million Smarter Safer Farms program, ensuring Victorian agriculture is safer, more efficient and resilient.

The Victorian Government is building the agriculture sector’s reputation for workplace excellence through improved health, safety and wellbeing initiatives. For more information visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au.

Source: Vic Government