Shanna - Farmer and rural charity founder, Maules Creek NSW

My picture of the struggle in farmer mental health is:

For me, the greatest struggle I face on a daily basis is loneliness and geographic and social isolation. As a person who wasn't able to have my own children and as somebody who chooses zero alcohol in my lifestyle - I am, quite simply, automatically excluded and disqualified from the two greatest social structures upon which rural communities are formed and maintained. And it can, at times, be incredibly exhausting trying to fit in around that.


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

The best aspect of rural mental health for me is peace, quiet, wide open spaces, and the room to breathe, move, and be surrounded by the unconditional beauty of dogs, creatures, nature, and the bush. As someone who enjoys physical labour - being on a farm doing simple tasks and sleeping well at night is one of the greatest pleasures in life.


A little more about Shanna:

I've spent a decade advocating for rural mental health and specifically the connection between alcohol harm and our mental health. We will have a long way to go - but, we are making traction.


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