Ready access to health services is critical
The importance of local mental health services has been highlighted with a NSW Labor commitment to provide 50 outreach workers and extra funding for not-for profit mental health groups in regional areas.
NSW Farmers President James Jackson said Labor’s commitment comes on the back of solid ongoing support for regional mental health services from the Coalition during the drought.
Mr Jackson said ready access to clinical and community delivered health services is critical and a key ask of NSW Farmers in the lead up to the NSW election.
“Managing in prolonged drought takes its toll on farmers, their families and regional communities. Over time, the stress and uncertainty can affect health and wellbeing,” Mr Jackson said.
“It is well recognised in farming communities that during times of farming stress, personal health and well-being are pushed down the priority scale. Regular health checks become ‘am going-to’ rather than ‘I have-done’.”
“Farmers are often described as ‘stoic’ as they focus on maintaining good animal welfare, ensuring adequate water so that established orchards are not lost, and controlling weeds so that they can plant crops when there is rain.”
“The most important way to support a farmer, their spouse, a son, or daughter, is to check in on them - ask are you OK? If we all ‘check on a farmer’ and encourage them to access the wide range of financial, health and community supports in place, the unnecessary escalation from anxiety and stress to more complex mental health outcomes may be avoided.”
NSW Farmers also welcomes significant commitments from both the Coalition and Labor on boosting nursing and other medical staff numbers in mental health units.
Information on Wellbeing support is available on the NSW DPI Droughthub website at- https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/climate-and-emergencies/droughthub/wellbeing
Date: Wednesday 13 March 2019
Media Contact: Michael Burt | 0428 228 988