Support for Aussie Farmers and Rural Communities
Droughts can affect families not just financially, but physically, mentally and emotionally.
We understand there are many of you feeling isolated right now more than ever.
Please use this as a safe and respectful space to seek support from each other and share your journeys.
The beyondblue website has information on how to support yourself and others, as well as information about the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression. This includes:
- Looking after yourself after a disaster
- Taking care of yourself after retrenchment or financial loss
- Information about depression and anxiety
- Checklist to understand whether you might be experiencing anxiety or depression
- Types of professionals you can visit to seek support for your mental health
beyondblue is here for all those affected by droughts and would encourage anyone who may be in distress to contact our Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or online via https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support
My small NSW business is redundant due to the drought. I have growing debt and no income. Any clients I had are in the same boat but likely on a bigger scale. My skills as an agronomist are close to useless without any rain and billing for animal nutrition consults feels wrong at this time.
I feel that in most cases women are first to leave the land and seek work in town to support the home farm. Jobs in towns of <1500 people are scarce when everyone needs them and to drive to the next town is $50/day in diesel. That said I wouldn't trade places with the men. They are home carting feed to ailing animals from dawn til dusk. Feed prices are increasing as supplies run low and hope is running out.
I and my business are young and may not be able to weather this mentally or financially. People and businesses survive droughts and some even maintain their optimism. I am new to this but not anxiety and depression. Little things seem exhausting but its hard to feel relieved to go to bed when you know you'll wake up still in the nightmare. I can wait it out for now but it needs to rain ALOT by October/November or I'll have to pack up and jump ship. Even the local non-agricultural businesses will suffer as we can afford to spend less on 'luxuries' or anything for that matter.
I'm wracked with guilt for not being the one who's doing it toughest but being the one to complain. I'm guilty for not jumping ship earlier and giving up my own dream and home so I can at least take care of myself financially. This is why we don't reach out. We feel bad to be the 'big whinging burden' when everyone around us is doing it just as tough or tougher. You'd think there'd be a sense of unity in that we're all suffering but its the opposite. Not one of us wants to lay our burden on another so we suffer alone and in silence.
I'm not sure if I can be helped or whether I can help anyone else but I will check back here regularly
I married into a fifth generation farming family some 30 years ago. My husband and I battled through a decade of drought, which commenced in 1996. We are currently okay but I feel your pain.
It's soul destroying stuff. Unless you've lived it, I think people struggle to really understand the pain and complex social issues. It's not just your livelihood effected, it's your world.
Your pain is just as real as the farmers' pain. They know you are hurting and they are powerless to help, the same way you are unable to help them. I can still remember the guilt I felt when we laid off our agronomists because we couldn't afford their services. There were no hard feelings, everybody knew what was happening and why but it was so sad. And we never talked about it.
You're spot on, nobody in a farming community wants to lay their burdens on others. My husband is the resilient, hardened, quintessential farmer to the world but he suffered in private. Our whole family did.
Knowing what I do today about mental health through other life events, I encourage to reach out to your GP for help with your anxiety and depression. I also encourage you to talk with your friends and neighbors.
Nobody is likely in the mood for parties but maybe a community event to celebrate father's day would lift spirits. BYO picnic in the park? Organising something together, that is good for families, could help. I bet you could get donations with a few phone calls.
What I'm saying is lean on each other. And you lean on us here at bb, we'll support you every step of the way.
Lovely to hear from our Agro who are doing it just as tough as we Farmers. My heart goes out to you as we to are in our 7th year of drought, broadacre & cattle producers with the closest town being 100km & major city 900km from home.
It will rain one day soon & you’ve come such a long way & have done an amazing job. Seems as though our will is being slowly eroded, so here’s my little piece of advice from a female Farmer, mother of 4 girls all studying Ag degrees & who has seen more dry sunsets then dinners( also I tackle severe anxiety & bipolar each day): really look at the sunrises or sunsets each day- give yourself that privilege, take time just to be you & breath. Great app “Headspace” is fantastic - I use it each night. When my head is racing I know to STOP, BREATHE, close my eyes & smell & listen to where I am at that moment. Start a Gratitude Diary & write in it 3 things you’re grateful that day. Be kind to yourself EVERY SINGLE DAY, look in the mirror & really tell yourself how amazingly gorgeous you are. This is a toughi but keep at it, it really is helpful. Some great Mindful things on Utube.
Spend time with a good quality GP who specialises in Mental Health, worth the extra miles. If they are really switched onto Mental Health care, they’ll surely advise you of some great Private Clinincs in Sydney, Sunshine Coast the best ones are run by Ramsey Health as 3week courses & are amazing! We spend a squillion on our homes, kids, Farms but little on our Mental Health - really worthwhile avenues to persue.
Finally, just be kind to yourself, read a book, garden, do something you enjoy & remember to eat well, 3 meals s day with good nutrition.
Anyway, this is how I particularly managing this drought & my Mental Health & it is really working well. It’s a battle I manage everyday, & this drought is something I can’t change, we’ve done everything to drought proof our livestock & I can’t do anymore except the trough, lick blocks & cattle checks everyday. But each run , I look around & see what’s changed from yesterday’s run & am amazed at the resilience of our cattle, daughters & my ever so dedicated Farmer husband.
Dont dispair, look after your MentalHealth & know how important you are to your clients & our remote rural communities. 😊
I thought I would chip in with some resources I've found - I imagine that at this time of the year things aren't easy and this time last year our country was basically on fire. So it's okay to reach out for some support if you need it-
Rural Health Connect. For seeing a psychologist online when you're not able to do face to face. This is bulk-billed so there's no out of pocket fees. https://www.ruralhealthconnect.com.au/
You got this mate. For men and rural health. Info, tips, strategies. https://yougotthismate.com.au/
Virtual Psychologist. Text based support with a psychologist - free for rural and remote communities. https://www.virtualpsychologist.com.au/rural-remote/
ifarmwell. A free online course to learn some strategies and cope. If you've ever heard of Mindspot before this is quite similar. https://www.ifarmwell.com.au/
Hopefully this is helpful