Online tool targeted at farmers’ wellbeing

Online tool targeted at farmers’ wellbeing


Cattle National
VALUABLE RESOURCE: University of SA research fellow and clinical psychologist Kate Fennell worked alongside a team of farmers, researchers and clinicians to develop the new online resource ifarmwell.com.au. Sixty farmers from across the country are being asked to take part in the next stage of its development.

VALUABLE RESOURCE: University of SA research fellow and clinical psychologist Kate Fennell worked alongside a team of farmers, researchers and clinicians to develop the new online resource ifarmwell.com.au. Sixty farmers from across the country are being asked to take part in the next stage of its development.

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NEARLY a decade's worth of research into farmers’ well-being has been undertaken by University of SA research fellow and clinical psychologist Kate Fennell, resulting in the development of a new resource to help boost farmers’ wellbeing.

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NEARLY a decade's worth of research into farmers’ well-being has been undertaken by University of SA research fellow and clinical psychologist Kate Fennell, resulting in the development of a new resource.

“Many years ago we did a study on what the main sources of stress were for farmers,” she said.

“They were mainly things beyond their control, like the weather or commodity prices. This makes a lot of sense as farmers are very practical and problem-solvers.”

As part of the research, the differences between farmers with high levels of wellbeing, compared to those with low levels, was explored.

“The key coping strategies we found were humour and acceptance,” she said.

Dr Fennell had used Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in the past as part of her work with cancer patients, and she thought it would be good to adapt it to help more farmers learn how to accept situations beyond their control. That led Dr Fennell, working alongside a team of farmers, researchers and clinicians, to develop the new online resource ifarmwell.com.au, which has received a $100,000 NAB Foundation grant. The research team is seeking 60 farmers from across the country to take part in the next stage of its development.

“We are looking for farmers who can help trial the ifarmwell resource and provide feedback, so we can measure its ease-of-use and helpfulness,” Dr Fennell said.  

To be eligible, participants must be active in a farming or pastoral enterprise in Australia, be 18 years of age or older and have access to the internet and a mobile phone. 

Participants who go through all five of the modules and complete the questionnaires before and after will have the option of being sent a $100 voucher.

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