A new community resilience initiative called 'Farmers Helping Our Own' is working to create localised support networks for communities during times of adversity and stress.
The tour of workshops will visit Inverell on November 16 at the Inverell Services Club after launching in Roma on Monday.
The workshops aim to provide farmers and their families with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to be confident in providing mental health support during tough times.
Farmers Helping Our Own is an initiative led by producers Stuart Austin, Gem and Stuart Green, partnering with key mental health supports, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), and counselling service TIACS.
Founding member, Health Practitioner and Central Tablelands Grazier, Gem Green, is keen to encourage the entire community to show up and support our producers in today's challenging conditions,
"The tour isn't just for primary producers and their families; it is designed for everyone in the community," she said.
"If you're someone who regularly engages with farmers and the rural community, like an agent, agronomist, vet or accountant, or you may be a partner, parent or sibling of a farmer, then I strongly encourage you to come along to one of our workshops and gain the tools to help those who you support, when they need it most."
Co-founding member, Stuart Austin, is no stranger to the unique and varied challenges faced by farm businesses across Australia, says the tour is about helping regional communities support one another and thrive.
"We know how hard it can be as primary producers, particularly when we're experiencing the combination of drought and challenging trading conditions - all of which are firmly on the agenda this summer," he said.
"The aim of Farmers Helping Our Own is to empower both farmers and their families the confidence to check in on their mates and provide support when it's needed most."
"We need to try something new, as we know rural and regional Australia is doing it really tough, which is being reflected through the higher number of requests being received for support by our mental health support services, here in the bush.
"This is a matter of national importance that requires urgent attention, we simply have to do better," Mr Austin said.
"While I have the utmost respect for organisations that currently offer mental health support, we all have a responsibility to do more, and simply inviting those who need help to pick up the phone is not working. Care has to start and be driven by the communities that are impacted the most."
RAMHP coordinator Letitia Cross said the group was excited to be involved in the initiative.
"The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program is looking forward to helping deliver these important rural workshops, providing knowledge and education with an ongoing, on-the-ground presence to support and strengthen rural communities," Ms Cross said.
The workshops will focus on mental health during adversity, decision-making in critical times, community building, and providing people with the tools and resources to help others around them. How to identify key warning signs and ask powerful questions, to better support each other.
The workshops are free and online discussion groups will be held for those unable to attend in-person, register here.
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