The Andrews Labor Government is expanding the mental health support provided to Victorian dairy farmers by offering free Mental Health First Aid training to stock drivers and veterinarians.
A $1.5 million assistance package to support dairy farmers has been rolled out throughout affected communities, providing a range of services to address mental health and suicide prevention.
It provides critical support to dairy farmers who are currently experiencing particularly difficult times, and also to local communities to ensure those affected are looking out for each other.
Recognising that secondary industries are affected by the downturn, the Government has expanded the Mental Health First Aid Training program to be available to stock drivers and veterinarians to assist them to both look after themselves and support their community.
Mental Health First Aid Training will also be offered to those who regularly come in contact with dairy farmers, such as stock drivers and veterinarians to assist them to provide better support.
Forums with industry representatives, health services and local community members including farmers have helped design and plan the delivery of a support package that meets the needs of the dairy farmers, their families and the community.
Community consultations will continue to ensure that the support provided through the Mental Health Package funding meets the needs of the farmers and their families.
In total, the Labor Government is providing $11.4 million in assistance to support farmers who need it.
This includes working with regional staff and service providers to ensure they are aware and ready to respond to affected dairy farmers and their families.
For information on the package and support available visitwww.agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/dairy/support-for-dairy-farmers or call 136 186.
If you need help call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 for 24/7 crisis support and counselling.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
“We know that dairy farmers are going through a difficult time, that has also been compounded by recent winds and flooding.”
“This support in addition to the targeted community support we are providing will assist dairy farmers through this difficult time.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“Farmers are among the most resilient in our community, but even the strongest need support sometimes.”