Mental health support for farming communities

Published: 3 Sep 2018

Farming communities facing pressure from the drought will have access to 20 new ‘farm gate’ counsellors and frontline mental health workers.

Individuals, families and businesses will now have access to 44,000 hours of crucial mental health support close to home.

Mental health support will be offered in the Western, Hunter New England, Murrumbidgee, Nepean Blue Mountains, South Western Sydney and Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health Districts.

Funding will also provide vital education for existing frontline support staff and local wellbeing events. These events will be held in Dubbo, Yeoval, Narromine, Nyngan, Bourke, Coonamble, Walgett, Coonabarabran, Mudgee and Gilgrandra.

The NSW Government will provide $6.3 million over the next two years to ensure these services and support are available for those in need.

Premier Gladys Berejilklian said the NSW Government has already committed more than $1 billion in drought support, and this is another way to help farmers and rural communities during challenging conditions.

“The drought has increased mental health issues such as depression and anxiety in rural communities and households, which is why we’re putting boots on the ground in these areas to make sure help reaches those who need it most,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said putting mental health support at the centre of the state’s response to the drought is critical to ensure communities build resilience to brave it through the current severe conditions.

“Our farmers and their families are under daily pressure to feed stock, operate a business and keep the household running and there is no doubt this takes its toll on your wellbeing,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW Government have increased the number of ‘farm gate’ counsellors on-hand ready to talk to farmers, individuals and business owners in our regional communities and walk side-by-side with them through this drought.”

This funding commitment is on top of $4 million already being provided to regional NGO’s to support communities facing natural disaster and drought.

For crisis support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on mental health services in your community contact the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

Learn more about rural mental health support

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