Farmer Sunset

The Rural Mental Health Network
The Rural Mental Health Network is a group of agencies and individuals who share a common goal and have agreed to work together to improve the mental health and wellbeing of farming people and farming communities.

Our Purpose
There is a growing body of evidence that the people in agriculture are not coping with the pressures that they face, and the mental illness that they experience. Farm male owners and managers commit suicide at around twice the rate of the national average.

There are many people and agencies contributing to ensuring the health and wellbeing of the farming sector in NSW. Each agency's work needs to be understood and recognised, and where possible there should be no duplication of effort or resources.

There is a body of evidence about what is effective in improving mental health and preventing suicide - this is summarised in a number of key Australian and NSW State Government Plans.

The combined work of this Network will contribute to achieving the planned National and NSW State Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention Australian outcomes.

The reasons that some people feel that they can't cope, that some people suffer mental disorders or that some people commit suicide are very complex. Some key risk factors in the pathways to personal and family breakdown, and potential pathways to maintenance of health and wellbeing have been identified and described for farming people.

"The Focus on resilience appears to have more efficacy, and is more empowering, with less risk of harm involved." NSW Suicide Prevention Strategy, 2004

The Blueprint
The Blueprint is a simplified summary of key issues that should be addressed, and the major actions that should be taken so that we can be confident we will be effective in achieving our purpose. Each agency has a different but connected role in achieving our purpose.