As the drought continues across the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD), the importance of our farmers remaining healthy is vital. For the first time the WNSWLHD has a Drought Support Team, that consists of everyday people with lived experience of life on the land.
Hub Manager Mental Health Drug and Alcohol, Trish Bullen said, “This is a new model of care for our District and provides our communities an alternative option instead of speaking to a clinician".
“Sometimes all someone needs to improve their mental health is a trusted place to have a chat. The Drought Support Team can provide this and more".
The Drought Support Team are nonclinical but have a first-hand understanding of the effects of drought. They also know it's not just our farmers that are being hit hard.
The crippling effects have spread beyond the farm gate and are being felt by towns, cities, workers, families, and businesses. The team provide support to anyone affected by the drought.
“People think the team are here just to support farmers but this is not the case."
“They are providing support for a range of people from farmers, local shop keepers, schools and families. The team even have a child and adolescent support specialist"
“The service is able to provide support via phone calls, text, email or one of my favourite things, is they can also come to you." Trish said.
To access the Drought Support Team service call (02) 6881 4002. The service runs Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm, outside of these hours anyone with concerns about their mental health or that of a friend or loved one should call the Mental Health Line on free call 1800 011 511 or contact their GP.
Photo left to right - Matt March, Leif Carroll, Angela Copeland, Peter Gorman, Sue Baxter, Therese Ryan, Heather Jones Members of the Drought Support Team.