Farmers in the Western Victoria are being encouraged to tap into counselling and support services being made available as part of the Victorian Government’s $1.5 million assistance package.
Victoria has more than 4000 dairy farms and local Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP urged farmers to contact local mental health providers and seek support.
Ms Tierney, who attended a Mental Health and Wellbeing Service Provider Forum in Warrnambool last Thursday, said it was clear we have got some very experienced local providers in the region available to deliver services and support to our local dairy families.
The funding means that $800,000 has been allocated to support the health and wellbeing of farmers, including counselling services. Support programs will also be developed in consultation with farmers.
There will also be an expansion of phone based support to extend capacity; provision for up to 30 additional mental health first aid sessions in priority locations, expansion of the Look over the Farm Gate program and funding coordination in up to 23 local government areas to drive easy access to support and develop area specific information and advice.
The $1.5 million package compliments the recent Victorian Government and dairy industry announcement of $11.4 million in assistance to support farmers who are currently experiencing particularly difficult times.
For information on the package and support available visit: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/dairy/support-for-dairy-farmers or call 136 186.
Help for dairy farmers and their families is available via Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Quotes attributable to Gayle Tierney MP, Member for Western Victoria
“I know farmers in our region are facing difficult times at the moment and that is taking a toll on them and their families.”
“We need to do all we can to ensure the right services are available to them to ensure they get assistance when they need it.”
“We have got very experienced local providers in the region available to deliver services and support to our local dairy families.”
“Don’t leave it to chance, your mental health is important to doing your job and maintaining your relationships with family and friends, I implore you to take the time to seek help.”