You’ve probably seen on the news and on social media that our dairy farmers are fighting to keep their farms and businesses viable, as the price of milk drops. Understandably, farmers and their families are experiencing high levels of distress. Beyond Blue welcomes the $1.5 million assistance package announced by the Victorian Government and, with many others, is here to support Australian farmers and their families.
Helplines and websites
The Beyond Blue website has information on how to support yourself and others, as well as information about the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are worried about yourself or someone else and need to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service offers immediate support and will point you towards local services to help with your situation. You can call 1300 22 4636 any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or chat online or email our counsellors if you prefer. It’s free and confidential.
Lifeline is free, confidential, 24-hour telephone and online crisis support service.
Call 13 11 14.
Free, anonymous peer support around the clock is available from Beyond Blue’s online forums. The forums are a group support space where everyday people share tips and advice on what works during the tough times.
Department of Human Services social workers can provide short-term counselling, support and information to help you through a difficult time and refer you to other support services. Call 132 850 and ask to speak to a social worker, or visit a service centre to be referred to a social worker.
If you are experiencing financial hardship, Beyond Blue has a free information resource, Taking care of yourself after retrenchment or financial loss with tips on how to cope with the impact of financial loss, how to take care of your family and links to financial support.
Call the Department of Human Services on 132 850 to discuss individual circumstances or 132 300 to make an appointment with a Financial Information Service (FIS) Officer. Social workers can provide short-term counselling, support and information to help you through a difficult time and refer you to other support services. Call 132 850 and ask to speak to a social worker, or visit a service centre to be referred to a social worker.
For everyone else
We advise people to look out for their neighbours and friends who are doing it tough. Encourage them to talk about their problems with trusted families, friends and community leaders.
Dairy farmers have let us know that buying ‘branded milk’ – milk that isn’t the $1/litre home brand milk – helps them, as will buying Australian-made dairy products like cheese and yoghurt.
The Dairy Farmers need your help please Facebook page has more information and a list of the dairy brands that support farmers.
Beyond Blue Chairman, Jeff Kennett, wrote about the issue in his regular column in the Herald Sun on May 17th. If you can't view the column online, you can download a PDF of We can't stand by and watch farmers suffer.