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Workshop to help Mackay farmers' mental health


There is no doubt Mackay farmers have been seriously struggling in the coronavirus downturn.

The impacts of drought and labour shortages have been disrupting supply chains, and causing financial stress to farming families and communities.

Mackay's agriculture industry is invited to a suicide awareness workshop next week, aimed at helping those facing difficulties.

Rural wellbeing researcher Dr Meg Perceval says the project, named Care for Rural Australia, gives participants the tools to take better care of their own mental health, as well as recognise when others need a hand.

"Care stands for connect, ask, refer, encourage. That part of the program is really about what steps you should take and what the evidence has suggested is best to do, if you're worried about someone," Dr Perceval says.

She is hoping to reach at least 300 people from Cairns all the way through to the Darling Downs will take part in the workshop.

Dr Perceval says it is vital to reach even the most remote communities, as many do not have access to mental health services.

"Some areas are really, really well resourced and have some fantastic services, and others are certainly very hard done by in terms of access to good health services and mental health support," she says.

The workshop will be held at the Resources Centre of Excellence, Paget, on May 28 from 8:30am.