Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) in conjunction with Queensland Health and Headspace Warwick will host its first Rural Minds free workshop at Freestone Memorial Hall Warwick on Wednesday 29 August from midday to 4pm.

Rural Minds is a half-day workshop aimed at targeting mental health and well being in rural communities, teaching mental resilience in a relaxed way. Specifically designed for rural and remote communities and delivered by people who understand the challenges of living in the bush, Rural Minds provides valuable, solid and practical information.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie encouraged farmers across the region to attend the workshop and have a chat about mental health in rural Australia.“The Southern Downs was drought declared in May and Council recognises the drought is having animpact on our farming communities and well beyond our borders,” said Mayor Dobie. “When you combine that with other stressors such as recovery from previous natural disasters and weather events, rising living costs, dropping commodity prices and other financial pressures, there’s a perfect storm of things that can take an emotional and mental toll on our farmers and their families. We can’t make it rain but what we can do is facilitate access to programs like Rural Minds, which aims to improve mental wellbeing and build resilience. This workshop is a great way to gain a better understanding of mental health issues and their impacts, learn about coping strategies and some of the ways you can seek help either for yourself, your family or a mate.”

Headspace Warwick Community Awareness and Engagement Officer Simon Goddard said the organisation is pleased to be involved with the Rural Minds project.“Farmers are doing it tough everywhere and this puts stress on the whole family – including those in the 12 to 25 year old age group we serve,” Simon said. “Giving skills to farmers to cope with stress will have a positive effect on young people in rural communities as well.”

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