National Farmers' Federation

National forum tackles farmer mental health

Leaders in agriculture and mental health will meet today at a national forum to zero in on farmer mental health and wellbeing and what needs to be done.

National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is convening the forum in Melbourne following a survey last year revealing almost a third of farmers reported a decline in their mental health.

NFF President David Jochinke said it was vital to get people in the same room to take stock of the situation and agree a pathway forward.

“Life on the land comes with pressures from unpredictable seasons, natural disasters, financial stress and isolation and most of these are outside of anyone’s control.

“Access to support in the bush can be limited and couple that with a culture of farmers having to be ‘resilient’ all the time and it can feel like your back is against the wall.

“Awareness around mental health is growing which is a positive step in the right direction but we need to build on that and explore new ideas.”

The event will hear firsthand what it’s like engaging with mental health services from the farm, how to engage effectively with farmers, about examples of business-led interventions and how the construction industry is taking a lead in this space.