Over 50 local farmers and their families attended a Drought Support Meeting at Milvale Hall last week.
Speakers included John Harper, a local farmer/shearer who has worked tirelessly with struggling farmers for the past 15 years. He started the Mate Helping Mate program in the middle of the last drought, speaking to groups of farmers, sharing his story and organising get-togethers and outings to encourage and inspire farmers through tough times. His presentation was very practical and visual and had the audience captivated.
Faith Rogers, who has worked in the mental health system for over 15 years, spoke about her current work with the Rural Adversity Mental Health program (RAMHP) and the importance of talking to someone when we are feeling down. The program addresses the signs of stress and depression and linking rural people to the help they need.
Elke Cleverdon is a financial counsellor based in Young working with the Rural Financial Counselling Service of NSW and offered advice on the availability of drought assistance and how to access it. She outlined the NSW Emergency Drought Relief Package and answered relevant questions.
Chair of the meeting Liz Boland said, “The evening was a great opportunity for farmers to learn more about the support out there to help them through the current drought and know they are not alone in this devastating time.”
The meeting allowed farmers to talk about their physical and mental problems and get out, away from the farm, for chat over a friendly drink and BBQ.
The meeting was made possible by the South West Slopes Sheep Breeders group who obtained a Murrumbidgee Community grant thought the Primary Health Network.
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