More support on offer for farmers

THE National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) has developed a number of programs to offer support to farming communities impacted by drought and dry seasonal conditions.
More support on offer for farmers More support on offer for farmers More support on offer for farmers More support on offer for farmers More support on offer for farmers

Farmer health workshops are available in Victoria to help those experiencing drought. Picture Mark Saunders.

Staff writer

Following feedback from rural communities and farmers the NCFH has developed a 2.5 hour workshop, focussing on supporting the health and wellbeing of farming communities.

The workshop also helps participants understand the flow on effects of poor farmer health on individuals and communities, identifying people who are experiencing stress and giving them tools to assist and support others.

A recent workshop participant said: "the workshop was absolutely worthwhile. Simply talking about the issues raised awareness and will have a collective benefits to participants."

Participants in the workshops are provided with helpful take home resources including a Managing Stress on the Farm book and Farmer Support Guide.

Acting manager Industry Engagement, Cecilia Fitzgerald, said feedback from past groups is that workshops work best when the group size is limited to 15-20 persons and they include an opportunity for social connection such as an afternoon or morning tea or over lunch or dinner.

Community groups are also encouraged to contact the Centre and discuss the needs of their communities.

"We are also able to deliver shorter presentations on a range of topics and are happy to work with groups to ensure the topic is of interest and relevant," Fitzgerald said.

Also on offer are free 20-minute health and lifestyle assessments and AgriSafe clinics.
"Health and lifestyle assessments provide farmers with meaningful knowledge and skills to enhance their own health," Fitzgerald said.

The assessments include a lifestyle survey covering health behaviours, farm practices and social and emotional wellbeing and the clinical component covers cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure readings along with diabetes risk, Body Mass Index and eyesight testing.

For more information on any of the free programs available contact Cecilia Fitzgerald on (03) 5551 8586 or at Cecilia.fitzgerald@wdhs.net or find out more at www.farmerhealth.org.au

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