Funding boost for online mental health toolkit for farmers

Funding boost for online mental health toolkit for farmers

Agribusiness
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

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An online portal aimed at helping improve the wellbeing of farmers has received a state government funding boost.

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AN online portal aimed at helping improve the wellbeing of farmers has received a state government funding boost.

The $200,000 grant from the $21-million Drought Support Package will be used to further develop the ifarmwell website, which provides practical information for farmers about ways of coping with challenging and difficult circumstances.

Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham said industry had embraced the online toolkit during these challenging times, particularly with the ongoing drought.

"That's why we've invested in the ifarmwell online toolkit to give individual farmers, their families and wider communities access to a portal to assist in providing practical assistance," he said.

"Expanding ifarmwell's capability will give farmers, and their supporters additional tools and resources to reduce the negative impact of stressful situations, so they can make good decisions and have more time and energy to focus on things that make them happy and resilient."

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Developed by University of SA's Department of Rural Health senior research fellow Kate Gunn, the website provides a free, evidence-based online self-help toolkit for those on the land.

"The $200,000 will fund the development of a portal for healthcare, agricultural and finance professionals who work with farmers, allowing them to demonstrate the ifarmwell toolkit to their clients, refer and support their clients through the program and to send reminders and resources to their clients," she said.

"Training in the portal will be provided to Rural Financial Counsellors, Family and Business Support mentors and other mental health and wellbeing service providers, to encourage greater uptake and delivery of mental health and wellbeing support to SA's farming sector."

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