Elyssa - Farmer partner, rural business woman and agvocate, Wongan Hills WA

My picture of the struggle in farmer mental health is:

When I read the words "farmer mental health" I actually thought of my Pop, who is the stereotypical farmer, the head down, keep it to yourself, and get on with it type. I am the exact opposite and am very open about my mental health (I even built a platform based on being honest about my struggles). It's no secret that I have battled my own mental health for years, I put it on the internet, I answer questions about it, I present about it, and I started a community project about it. Some of the tougher moments I have encountered are definitely in the busier months - the struggle to get a break because it's seeding or harvest and your partner is working long hours, but it means you have the child/ren 24/7. The stress and scared feelings of the seasons that aren't looking too great and the trickle-down effect that has on the family business.

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

Some of my favourite moments stem from some type of being involved with agriculture. When I sold my first boomspray on my own (via social media!), someone didn't automatically assume I didn't know what I was talking about because I had breasts. When I head into the workshop and learn new skills with Dad. When we go out to the paddock and sit with my partner for a bit while he eats, with my son exploring whatever piece of machinery he is driving. The beers and laughter at the end of seeding or harvest, or at the end of a year when we go back and laugh about all the repairs and jobs we did that were definitely worth a carton.


A little more about Elyssa:

My partner works for a farmer (I call him a wannabe farmer haha!), the family business of which I am the GM is Wespray Boomsprays / Wongan Engineering, I run EJG Creative for rural businesses and I run AGform, a community project especially for Wheatbelt agriculture.

I am very passionate about mental health and think that the incredible work Steph is doing should be shared far and wide! Well done Steph!!


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