Encouraging men to tackle mental health

Mens Health written on the roadIn Australia, one in eight men are likely to experience depression in their lifetime and one in five men are likely to experience anxiety in a 12 month period.  On this very day, seven Australians will take their own lives and five of them will be men.  It’s a substantiated fact that many suicides occur as a result of unresolved mental health issues or treatable mental trauma.

The social norms of masculinity play an important role in the gender differences of suicide.  Men have a greater tendency not to recognise or respond to their own negative emotions or distress, which in turn may directly result in clinical depression.  This is partly due to the perceived stigma associated with ‘mental health’.

For too many men, depression and anxiety has been associated with weakness, and that is synonymous with failure.  The implication of seeing anxiety and depression as a weakness is that help-seeking can be seen as a failure to ‘handle the problem’.

Without understanding the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, many men are unlikely to know when crisis point is reached.

Through tackling the rate of depression and anxiety in men, reducing stigma, facilitating a change in men’s help-seeking behaviour and challenging perceptions of masculinity, it is believed that a reduction in the male suicide rate can be achieved.

Beyondblue commissioned a significant study into understanding what stops men identifying and dealing with mental health issues.  The Hall and Partners/Open Mind Men’s Help Seeking Behaviour Report identified eight approaches to reaching men:

  • Take the mental health language out of the communication
  • Show male role models of hope and recovery
  • Connect physical symptoms with emotional issues
  • Meet men where they are, through humour, targeted media (sport), use of the internet
  • Promote opportunities for community connection
  • Coach men and the people around them on what to look for and what to do
  • Provide men the opportunity to self-assess and take action

Importantly, the research found that re-framing the effeminate term ‘getting help’ to a more positive and actioned-based one of ‘taking action’ is key in changing mindset and encouraging men taking charge of their mental health.

For more information or if you or someone you know needs support visit: Beyondblue or phone 1300 22 4636.

Posted in anxiety, Communities, Depression, Families, Health, Men, mental health, Research, resilience, suicide | Leave a comment

Dairy Assistance Guide – Support for dairy farmers

dairyThe Department of Primary Industries’ Rural Resilience Program has produced an Assistance Guide for Dairy Farmers.

This useful guide provides information on key regional contacts, financial support, funding information, business support and health and well-being.

It also includes tips, tools and resources for farmers facing challenging times.

The information is available on the Rural Resilience Program’s website at:

Posted in agriculture, bursary, Cattle, Communities, education and training, Families, farming, Grants and funding, Health, mental health, primary industries, resilience, Rural Australia, Rural Support Workers, small business, Social welfare | Leave a comment

4 days left to nominate your Hidden Treasure!

Have you nominated your Hidden Treasure yet?hidden treasures poster image sml

There are only FOUR days left to nominate a Hidden Treasure from your community.

Volunteers are so important to our regions. They contribute over $5 billion annually to NSW and without them many important community services would struggle to survive.

There are so many women working hard behind the scenes in our neighbourhoods and communities to make them a better place.

Many of us know a volunteer and this is your chance to give something back to them.

The annual Hidden Treasures Honour Roll recognises and celebrates our volunteers and captures their stories in a special lasting tribute.

Over 100 inspiring women were nominated last year from a range of services such as Red Cross, the Cancer Council, Hospital Auxiliaries, Bush Fire Brigades, Meals on Wheels and Rescue Services.

We need your help to uncover new stories of amazing women for this year’s Honour Roll.

Nominating is easy. It only takes a few minutes and it’s a wonderful way to acknowledge and say ‘thank you’ to our Hidden Treasures.

Why not make a cuppa and take five minutes to nominate your Hidden Treasure today?

All women nominated will be included in the 2016 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll to be announced at the annual NSW Rural Women’s Gathering being held in Broken Hill from 28-30 October.

For more information or to complete an online nomination visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/rwn or call 02 6391 3612.


Posted in Communities, Community Hero, Elderly, Environment, Families, hidden treasure, inspirational, mental health, Mentor, NSW Rural Women's Gathering, NSW Rural Women's Network, resilience, Rural Australia, rural women, rural women's gathering, RuralWomen, RWN, Social welfare, stories, Sustainability, Volunteering, women, Women leaders, women's networks | Leave a comment

What rural women are saying

CaptureTo better understand the current challenges impacting rural women, NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) Rural Women’s Network (RWN) engaged directly with 350 women at the 2015 NSW Rural Women’s Gathering at Glen Innes.

Over the Gathering weekend women were asked to identify key challenges for rural women in NSW, many of which were then workshopped into possible ideas for action.

The ‘2015 Glen Innes Communique’ was produced as a record of these discussions.

The five most mentioned key challenges were:

  1. The tyranny of distance, lack of public transport and travel time impacts on opportunities to engage in sports, community activities; take up employment, access childcare and education services;
  2. Access to health services;
  3. Improving access to internet and mobile telecommunications;
  4. In tough times – coping oneself and supporting men and families; and
  5. Gender equality and acknowledgement of the role of women in agriculture is still an issue.

It is hoped that the Communique will encourage innovation and action across government, industry and the community who all have their role to play in improving the lives of women and families living in rural, regional and remote areas of NSW.

To read about the women’s innovative solutions for action, visit the RWN website at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/rwn  to view the 2015 Glen Innes Communique.

Posted in agriculture, Communities, education and training, Elderly, Environment, Families, Gender equality, Health, internet & telecommunications, mental health, NSW Rural Women's Gathering, primary industries, resilience, Rural Australia, rural women, rural women's gathering, RuralWomen, RWN, Social welfare, women | Leave a comment

The Ripple Effect: Farmers helping farmers beat suicide

unnamed (2)




Do your bit to turn the negative ripple of suicide into a positive ripple of support.

The Ripple Effect is about farmers helping farmers. We know through our own experience, that no one tells a story about the ups and downs of life on the land better than farmers themselves.

We also know that people in farming communities are renowned for helping each other—that’s what keeps small communities alive. The Ripple Effect combines the strength of storytelling with rural people’s natural enthusiasm for supporting each other.

The Ripple Effect is a platform for people from the farming community to tell the story of their experience of suicide—whether someone they know has taken their own life, whether they have thought about or attempted to take their own life, whether they have cared for someone who has attempted to take their own life or whether they have been touched by suicide in some other way.

By sharing a story of what has helped you, you can help others learn and take action to make positive changes for their health and wellbeing. We know that this kind of communication helps protect people’s wellbeing. Participation is anonymous, personalised and with people who understand what life in a rural farming community is really like.

This is what you will find on the Ripple Effect:
People’s stories: The video stories and postcards by members of the farming community tell us about their experience of suicide, and are particularly powerful.
Add your story: Tell us your what you’re thinking on one of our online postcards. Remember—the Ripple Effect begins with you!
Know the facts: The Ripple Effect has plenty of valuable information to help you look after yourself and others, including videos from health professionals and stigma experts from farming communities.
Take action: Turn information into practical action and set your personal goals. You can print them off to stick on the fridge!
Access resources: Learn about what resources are available in your area. The personalised nature of the Ripple Effect tells you where you can get support locally, in your state and nationally.

Visit The Ripple Effect to find out more information and how you can be involved.

Posted in rural women | Leave a comment

Watch this space: Bus services to Broken Hill Women’s Gathering

2009 NSWRWG logoNSW Department of Primary Industries are pleased to announce two bus services to the 2016 Broken Hill Women’s Gathering, 28-30 October.


Have you planned your travel to the 2016 Broken Hill Women’s Gathering yet?

If not, why not grab a few friends and join us on the Gathering bus!

Northern bus pick up locations:

  • Orange
  • Dubbo
  • Narromine
  • Nyngan
  • Cobar
  • Wilcannia

Southern bus pick up locations:

  • Wagga
  • Narrandera
  • Hay
  • Balranald
  • Wentworth
  • Coombah

Registrations can be made through the Rural Women’s Network from July.

Enquiries to Emma Regan on emma.regan@dpi.nsw.gov.au or 02 63913612.

More details coming soon……….



Posted in rural women | Leave a comment

Wanted – 45 local board members

join-my-team-linkedin-webLocal Land Services is looking for 45 enthusiastic and progressive people to join 11 local boards. We are keen to attract people willing to make a difference to land management in NSW, with an aim to help us improve primary production within healthy landscapes.

Last week the Hon Niall Blair MLC, Minister for Primary Industries announced the start of the recruitment process for the Ministerially-appointed members, with applications open until 20 June 2016.

There are 45 positions available across all 11 regions, including Chairs of all boards. Board members who were elected will continue until a new election is held in the first half of 2017.

If you know anyone who might be interested, please encourage them to visit our website and download the information package.

Posted in agriculture, boards and committees, Communities, Local Land Services, primary industries, Rural Australia | Leave a comment

Broken Hill Women’s Gathering – Workshop Expression of Interest


RRSD logoThe 2016 Broken Hill Rural Women’s Gathering is an exciting event attracting more than 300 women from across NSW to network, share and learn in an informal atmosphere. Throughout the weekend, women enjoy a range of activities including motivational speakers, networking opportunities and the ever popular workshops.

The Organising Committee are seeking expressions of interest from individuals and groups who wish to volunteer to present workshops at this year’s event.

About the Workshops
Workshops cover a variety of topics and fall into one or more of the following categories:

• Business and Finance • Health and Wellbeing
• Personal Development • Art and Design

Each workshop is held for two hours and are scheduled at the following times:

Workshop A: 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Saturday 29th October
Workshop B: 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Sunday 30th October

The workshops are offered as part of the main registration fee for the weekend. Workshop
presenters may ask participants to pay a small fee to cover the cost of specialist materials.

This fee should be nominal and based on actual costs; and would be subject to negotiation with the Organising Committee.

Please indicate on your Expression of Interest form if specialist materials are required for your workshop.

If you would like to present a workshop at the 2016 Broken Hill Rural Women’s Gathering, please contact the Organising Committee to obtain an Expression of Interest form:

E: brokenhill2016@gmail.com
M: 0427 639 761

Expressions of Interest need to be received by 6:00pm Sunday 15th May 2016.

Posted in agriculture, Communities, education and training, Environment, Families, free resources, Health, Holistic Management, mental health, NSW Rural Women's Gathering, NSW Rural Women's Network, primary industries, resilience, Rural Australia, rural women, rural women's gathering, RuralWomen, RWN, Social welfare, women, women's networks | Leave a comment

NSW Rural Assistance Authority Part- Time Board Member position 2016- 2019


The Minister for Primary Industries is seeking applications for membership on the Board of the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) from people with expertise or experience in rural and regional issues and corporate governance.

The RAA is an independent Statutory Authority established in 1989 by the NSW Government to administer a wide range of assistance measures to the rural sector. These assistance measures are both Commonwealth and State funded. Whilst the rural sector is its core client, the RAA is also responsible for small businesses that have suffered loss or damage due to natural disaster and administering the Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994.

The NSW Government is committed to providing opportunities to those groups within the community who have traditionally been under represented on boards and committees to participate in its decision-making process in particular, increasing women’s representation on its boards, as well as people from other under represented groups.

The RAA Board is a skills-based board as established under the NSW Rural Assistance Authority Act 1989, reporting to the Minister for Primary Industries and is responsible for the strategic direction, development, implementation, monitoring and corporate governance of the RAA’s business activities.

Applications are invited from people with backgrounds in social welfare, rural counselling or conservation interested in being appointed to the Board in one of two positions. The Board consists of one full-time member (the Chief Executive) and six part-time members appointed by the Minister. Appointments are for a three-year term, and Members are paid remuneration and allowances set by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Applications (including a curriculum vitae and reasons for applying) should be forwarded by 20 May 2016 to:

Private and Confidential
Mr John Newcombe
Director, NSW Rural Assistance Authority
Locked Bag 23

Application forms and further information about the RAA Board may also be obtained from Mr John Newcombe, Director RAA, on 02 6391 3023.

Posted in agriculture, boards and committees, primary industries, Rural Australia | Leave a comment

Creating rural resilience: A better future for our farmers through social change

EEnvironmental advocate and 2014 National Rural Woman of the Year, Pip Job. Photograph: Seth Buchanannvironmental advocate and 2014 National Rural Woman of the Year, Pip Job, is working to create a better future for our farmers through social change. She is changing the way we view and practice farming through her social auditing program.
Pip says ‘overcoming social challenges is the only way to achieve real productive change for farming families and the land.’
‘The only way to have a strong agricultural industry into the future is that we recognise the importance of people, the importance of mental wellbeing, the importance of the environment and these are all key elements in strong           businesses and strong communities.’

Read more about Pip’s work in this great article by the Guardian.

Posted in agriculture, business, Communities, education and training, Families, farming, Health, Holistic Management, mental health, primary industries, resilience, RIRDC rural women's award, Rural Australia, rural women, RuralWomen, small business, Social welfare, Sustainability | Leave a comment