Anonymous contributor 2 - Farmer, Upper South East SA

My picture of the struggle in farmer mental health is:

The hardest moments were during the drought when I had a sick husband and I was running our property by myself. One of the toughest times during the drought was having to put lambs down that were born when a neighbour’s ram impregnated them. It was really hard, and soul destroying at the time. I also sowed some barley for feed/hay in hope to have something for our sheep, and then saw it go up in smoke when the neighbour’s header caught fire. I didn’t think things could get much worse at the time but knew I had to keep going to keep my husband going.

I remember one day I needed my younger son to take me to Waikerie after I bought the semi home as my husband was in hospital. My third son was in hospital in Katherine and my second son in hospital in Brisbane and my first son overseas for work. I rang my youngest close to home and he didn’t answer. I kept ringing and a lady answered. She was a nurse at the local hospital… he too was in hospital. At this stage I was suffering from vertigo which I couldn’t shake for quite some time, but I had to take tablets and keep going. I cried when that nurse said he was in hospital and thought ‘why me’ then I just laughed (at the craziness of it all).

Some of the glimmer/joyful moments that reflect farmer mental health for me:

Training my working dogs has done so much to keep me going. Working out with weights has been good for me too. I was running quite a bit at that stage (during the drought) as well.


A little more about this contributor:

I work full time on the farm and have done so for years. I love the farm - it’s my life. We now have a grazing property in the south east after deciding to sell our other properties because of renewable energy in the area.


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