Strengthening farmers through the camera's eye

Bromley, Kayleen Yvette (2014) Strengthening farmers through the camera's eye. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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One farmer in Australia commits suicide every four days (AAP, 2008; Judd et al., 2006). They have a higher death and morbidity rate than the general population (Courtney, 2006; Fragar & Franklin, 2000) and are over represented in farm injury statistics (Troeth, 2004). Their steady decline in numbers and the reduction of their local peer networks further increases their social and professional isolation along with their geographical isolation. Farmers, the majority of whom in Australia are generally referred to as men, even though 28% are women (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012), are a group that are difficult to access because of their isolation and reluctance to use health services.

Information Communication Technology (ICT), along with climate change and the media is bringing the attention of rural land desecration and its impact on our farmers and production to the fore. This research masters aims to explore: Will farmers in the area previously known as the rural shire of Crows Nest Queensland, access counselling services by social workers, using web cameras via the internet in their own home?

The project involved recruiting a sample of farmers in the shire of what was known as Crows Nest (the shire). The technology used was video streaming through web cameras via the internet with laptop computers. The usefulness of video streaming using web cameras with a social worker, in offering counselling services to farmers, was evaluated. The research is primarily qualitative with participants completing a written pre - demonstration questionnaire, and immediately following participating in a live web camera interactive demonstration; concluding with a post - demonstration audio interview questionnaire. The responses and data signifies the potential use of offering counselling services to rurally isolated farmers in the privacy of their own environment (home, paddock, tractor) which is applicable for them to be able to access such services via broadband wireless technology. This can assist overcome the issues of the ‘tyranny of distance’ and other factors such as lack of anonymity, privacy and cost. This research indicates these issues form part of the barriers for farmers in seeking help.

This thesis concludes with recommendations for change in ‘farmer well-being’ service provision, by redesigning, developing and implementing an alternative service delivery model which could also address employment and training for those in the health industry who have acquired a disability to be able to work within their own home environment. This model would offer professional counselling services delivered to them by professionally trained social workers with a rural (preferably farming) background, using web cameras via the internet in the privacy of their own home.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Master of Health thesis
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2014)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2014)
Supervisors: Gorman, Professor Don; Eley, Dr Robert: Jasman, Professor Anne; Trimmer, Karen
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2016 02:07
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2021 05:14
Uncontrolled Keywords: suicide; farmers; counselling; social workers
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440902 Counselling, wellbeing and community services

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