GPA, GrainGrowers unite to support mental health

Grain Central, June 7, 2023

Program national ambassador, cricketer, Brad Hogg spreads his message about the importance of mental health at the 2022 Mallee Machinery Field Days in Speed, Victoria.

AUSTRALIA’S two peak grain-grower groups, Grain Producers Australia and GrainGrowers, have joined forces to strengthen mental health awareness and suicide prevention to support Australian farmers and rural communities.

Launched in 2022, GPA’s Farmer Mates Mental Health initiative partners GPA with Nufarm, Rural Aid, Lifeline and Australian cricketing legend Brad Hogg as the program’s inaugural national ambassador.

GrainGrowers has committed to supporting GPA’s Farmers Mates Mental Health initiative by co-hosting events and promoting shared messages and engagement opportunities.

This announcement coincides with this year’s first tour event, with Mr Hogg attending Elders FarmFest in Toowoomba today, co-hosted with AgForce in the Nutrien stand (C-D/13-16).

GPA chair and Western Australian grower Barry Large has thanked GrainGrowers for their support, which he said demonstrated genuine leadership and commitment.

“The partnership sends a strong message that we are working to make a real difference on mental health for growers and our communities,” Mr Large said.

“The theme and messaging for this year on Hoggy’s Take-a-Break tour highlights the importance of farmers taking a break, to stay fit, fresh and healthy, after a few big production years.

“The GrainGrowers partnership strengthens the message, sharing events and awareness opportunities across the grains industry and the broader community.”

GrainGrowers chair Rhys Turton also farms in WA and said his organisation was proud to back the partnership with GPA, Nufarm, Rural Aid and Lifeline.

“GrainGrowers understands how important mental health is to our members and the broader community, and that we all need to play our part in supporting better outcomes,” Mr Turton said.

“Our farm safety project is not just about helping with the visible aspects of safety, but also extends to mental health.

“The partnership with GPA highlights our commitment to make a real difference.

“We’re looking forward to hosting Hoggy at community events, to provide more opportunity to share his important messages about mental health, and his personal journey and experiences.”

Mr Turton said the partnership with GPA also follows through with recommendations made in the National Farmer Wellbeing Report, commissioned by Norco and the National Farmers’ Federation.

“This reported highlighted the need to take action in key areas including increased funding, the importance of ‘checking-in’ on your mates, and supporting mental health advocates.

“We encourage NFF members and others, including agribusinesses, to also show leadership on mental health and join the initiative to help us all deliver even better outcomes for growers.”

Brad attends field day events shared with GPA’s state members throughout Australia, along with professional support provided by members of Rural Aid’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team.

Other confirmed events this year on the Take-a-Break tour are:

  • AgQuip, Gunnedah, New South Wales, August 22-24;
  • Yorke Peninsula Field Days, Paskeville, South Australia, September 26-28; and,
  • Elmore Field Days, Elmore, Victoria, October 3-5.

Source: GrainGrowers, GPA


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