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Network for male farmers funding plea

Horsham Rural City Mayor Heather Phillips.WIMMERA people who support drought-affected residents will visit Canberra and campaign to have an award-winning regional program adequately funded.
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Horsham Rural City Council hosted a Seasonal Conditions Committeemeetingin Horshamon Friday.

The committee aims to support people in the region affected by drought. It helped initiate amental health first aid instructor course in the region.

Horsham Rural City Mayor and committee chairwomanHeather Phillips said one of the big outcomes of the meeting was a decision to try to secure funding forWimmera Uniting Care’s Rural and Remote Engagement – RARE – program.

The community-based mental health program targets men in the Wimmera.

It aims to address the emotional and physical trauma experienced by men, especially farmers, and their families after drought, climate change, fires, floods and remote conditions.

Cr Phillips said it was important to ensure the program kept going.

“At the moment it only hassix months of funding and we’d like to see that funding extended,” she said.

“We want to explain to the politicians in Canberra how important this kind of program is to our community here.”

Cr Phillips said the program greatly benefited people across the region, particularly because it targeted people who needed it most.

“It’s about talking to people one on one, making connections with people who don’t normally attend things like this,” she said.

“People attend something like a mental health session are already there –they’re engaged.The people who don’t attend these things are the ones who fall through the cracks.

“The engagement program sees people reach out –it helps at grass-roots level.”

Cr Phillips said sometimes struggling farmers needed to talk to a stranger.

“These are people who are someone outside the family a farmer can casually talk to about their problems, how they are going to work their way out of an issue,” she said.

“It might just be the chat they need, or an introduction to different services.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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