Mental health of farmers in Southern Queensland: issues and support

Hossain, Delwar and Eley, Rob and Coutts, Jeff and Gorman, Don (2008) Mental health of farmers in Southern Queensland: issues and support. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 16 (6). pp. 343-348. ISSN 1038-5282

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Objective: To inform the development of an initiative
designed to support the mental well-being of farmers in
Design: Interactive focus groups.
Setting: Rural and remote Queensland.
Participants: Health professionals, farmers and representatives of organisations and agencies working with
Main outcome measures: Determination of factors
contributing to the declining mental health of rural
landholders. Content material for inclusion into mental
health first aid programs held for field officers.
Results: Key areas identified to contribute to the decline
in mental health of farmers were: increasing isolation
in its varying forms, the ongoing drought, increased
government regulations and widening of the schism
between urban and rural Australians. The issues that
affect farmers are recognised to have a ‘knock-on’ effect
on the people who interact with them. In particular,
rural support organisations are concerned for the wellbeing
of their staff, prompting some to begin to put
protocols in place to address their staff need for mental
health support. Additional mental health training of
field officers that involves awareness, recognition,
communication skills, understanding and empathy was
recognised by participants to be beneficial.
Conclusion: Training of field officers was considered to
be of benefit to the support of farmers. An understanding
of the various and diverse issues that rural landholders
face should be a fundamental component of that

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information (displayed to public): Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Pre-print version of article, as made available here, differs in title from the Published version. Pre-print title: The mental health of landholders in Southern Queensland – issues and support.
Depositing User: Dr Robert Eley
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - No Department
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2008 02:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: farmers; field officers; mental health; Queensland; training
Fields of Research (FoR): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070101 Agricultural Land Management
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920506 Rural Health
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2008.01013.x

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