Farmer Wants a Healthy Life

Farmer Wants a Healthy Life Jam packed with stories from people that understand the farming life with a story to tell. From new farmers and the old hands, rural community locals, doctors and more. Listen to the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life podcast series at a time that suits you. You can also connect and be part of the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.  

What is the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life podcast series?

The Farmer Wants a Healthy Life podcast series are stories of looking after you, whilst on the farm. The choices you make can change your life; hear it from those that have done it. Hosted by Brigitte Muir.

Listened to the podcast, now what?

We want to hear from you! Jump onto the social pages to share how you live a healthy farming life, with your own stories, pictures and more. Let us know any questions the series raised for you. And find more information on topics that catch your interest. Farmer Wants a Healthy Life is about hearing stories and sharing your own. Listening and mulling over how to live a healthy farming life.

These are the places to share stories, experiences, thoughts and ideas with other farmers:  

Facebook: @FarmerWantsaHealthyLife

Twitter: @_FWAHL

Program developed by West Wimmera Health Service With the collaboration and support of representatives from:

  • Grain Producers Australia
  • Grains Research & Development
  • National Centre for Farmer Health
  • Nhill & District Young Farmers
  • Rural Outreach Program
  • Southern Mallee Landcare Network
  • Victorian Farmers Federation
  • West Wimmera Health Service Allied Health Department
  • Wimmera Hearing Society      

 

Season Two

Guys Just Wanna Have Fun

Season 2, Ep 1

In this episode we hear from Justin Knorrp about how he is helping farmers to be more active in Warracknabeal. He shares what made him want to start the Active Farmers group, who comes to the group and what they get from it. He also talks about what led him to the Wimmera and the need for down time in our busy lives.

Live in or near Warracknabeal and want to join Justin's Active Farmers group? You can find more information on the Warracknabeal Active farmers group here or on Facebook

This episode mentions domestic abuse, if you or some you know needs help, 1800RESPECT can help.
Website: https://www.1800respect.org.au 
Phone: 1300 737 732
Online chat 

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Active Farmers is a regular group fitness class program that is fun and interactive. It is designed to get people active and create a sense of community and belonging. There are Active Farmer groups in rural towns around Australia, you can find one near you here. You can find more information on each of the below aspects of Active Farmers below:
Events
Becoming a participant
Starting your own Active Farmers group
Health workshops
Online classes

You can also jump on to the Active Farmers Facebook and Instagram pages.

Check out the You Got This Mate Program! A program for men living in rural Australia, aiming to help them reach their best physical health. It provides information on:
• Trying new things
• Making exercise fun
• Finding inspiration
• Tips on fitting exercise into your day

For more farmer specific exercise advice go to the National Centre for Farmer Health.

For general exercise and keeping active advice check out the below websites:
Better Health Channel 
Health Direct

 

The Art of Listening

Season 2, Ep 2

In this episode we hear from Robyn Kelm, a nurse turned hairdresser / makeshift counsellor. 

Robyn shares what she has learnt about mental health and how to help someone who is struggling. She also talks about mental health stigma and how that can impact on people.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
If you are concerned about someone and not sure how to start a conversation R U OK? can help.

Check out these fact sheets on Depression, Relationships and Family, and Stress.

Check out the You Got This Mate Program! The program is for men living in rural Australia, and aims to helps them reach their best mental health. It provides:

  • Information on mental health matters
  • Stories (much like these podcasts)
  • Tips to look after your mental health
  • Tips to help other men

There are also some services available to people in the Wimmera, including:

Mental Health is also covered in this Farmer Wants a Healthy Life episodes from series one:

  • AFL to Life with Depression
  • The Mental Tips
  • From Footy Coach to Rural Outreach Worker

There will be more episodes on mental health coming in series two, so keep your eye out for them!

 

Heart Hiccups

Season 2, Ep 3

In this episode we hear from Arnold and Colleen Bond about Arnold’s experience of having heart attacks. He shares how ticking a box on a form lead to lifesaving surgery. They also talk about what they have realised about farmer lifestyles and how it can impact the heart.

If you think there is a possibility you are experiencing a heart attack call 000.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
What exactly is a heart attack? Check out the information here to find out.

Had a heart attack or have another type of heart condition you can find information on living with it here.

Want find tips on looking after your heart? Check out these pages:
Healthy eating to protect your heart
Keeping your heart healthy
Physical activity and your heart

Arnold and Colleen talk about reducing their how much salt they eat, but why? Check found out more about this here.

For exercise and keeping active advice check out the below websites:
Heart Foundation
Better Health Channel
Health Direct
National Centre for Farmer Health

Check out our ‘Guys Just Wanna Have Fun’ and ‘Social Side of Exercise’ episodes to hear how other farmers are getting active together. 

  

The Auditor – Man on a Mission

S2, Ep 4

In this episode John Darcy tells us what he does as part of the Make Our Farms Safer project. He shares what to expect from a Farm Safety Consult (free for Victorian farmers). He also shares information about other services (see full list below) the project provides.

You can reach the Make Our Farms Safer team at 1300 882 833, to book an audit with John.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Making Our Farms Safer is a Victorian Farmers Federation project. The aim of the project is to deliver free safety tools and services across Victoria. These tools and services have a focus on safety, wellbeing and mental health. 

The available services include:

The project also has a range of handbooks available on different aspects of farm safety.

Are you a woman that wants to help advocate for farm safety? Plant a Seed for Safety is a project by farm safety advocate Alex Thomas. The project shares rural women's stories of encouraging safety on farms. 

Looking for more information about Farm Safety? Check out the National Centre for Farmer Health, Farm Safe Australia, Better Health Channel or Work Safe websites.

 

Social Side of Exercise

S 2, Ep 5

In this episode Daniel 'Bully' Keam shares why he is part of the Active Farmers Group lead by Justin Knorpp. He talks about why he joined the group and the benefits of it, with exercise being just one part of the story. He also talks about other changes to his lifestyle since joining the group.


Live in or near Warracknabeal and want to join Justin's Active Farmers group? You can find more information on the Warracknabeal Active farmers group here or on Facebook.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Active Farmers is a regular group fitness class program that is fun and interactive. It is designed to get people active and create a sense of community and belonging. There are Active Farmer groups in rural towns around Australia, you can find one near you here. You can find more information on each of the below aspects of Active Farmers below:
Events
Becoming a participant
Starting your own Active Farmers group
Health workshops
Online classes

You can also jump on to the Active Farmers Facebook and Instagram pages.

Check out the You Got This Mate Program! A program for men living in rural Australia, aiming to help them reach their best physical health. It provides information on:
• Trying new things
• Making exercise fun
• Finding inspiration
• Tips on fitting exercise into your day

For more farmer specific exercise advice go to the National Centre for Farmer Health.

For general exercise and keeping active advice check out the below websites:
Better Health Channel 
Health Direct

 

Alone, but not Lonely

S2, Ep 6

In this episode we hear from Corinne Heintze, a farmer and Yarriambiack councillor. She shares what keeps her happy and healthy, and her tips for others to do the same. She also talks about her spirituality and how she takes part in her community, and why.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Throughout the episode Corinne talks about some of her important relationships. She also talks about how she has come to understand how talking to others helps her mental health. The You Got this Mate Program loads of tips on staying connected to others.

Corinne mentioned in the episode volunteering bring her a lot of joy and helps her community. Interested in volunteering, but not sure where to start? 

  • Volunteering Victoria lists a range of platforms you can search for opportunities on
  • Centre for Participation has a number of opportunities across the Wimmera
  • You could also volunteer as part of a local service club, sport club  or community group

Your local council can also be a great way to volunteer. Find out what opportunities are available at the four local Wimmera councils here:

Has Corinne inspired you to get involved with your local council? Find out how to become a councillor like Corinne here:

 

Saving Your Skin

S 2, Ep7

In this episode Dr David Lester talks to us about all things skin related. He shares his knowledge on checking our skin and what we need to look out for. He also discusses skin cancer, sun protection and the importance of vitamin D.

You can book an appointment with Dr David Lester at Australian Skin Face Body in Horsham at 03 5382 0897. You can also find more information about Australian Skin Face Body here. You could also get a referral from your GP, or call your local health service to find a provider. West Wimmera Health Service also has nurse-led skin check clinics, for our locals!


Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Looking for some more information about skin cancer? Check out the Cancer Council, Better Health Channel and Health Direct websites. 

Dr Lester spoke a bit about UV, are you interested in finding out more? Check out this page about UV from SunSmart. You can also find easy to access information about the UV levels where you are via:


Dr Lester also talked about Vitamin D and how often we need to see the sun to get it. For more information on the UV and vitamin D connection check out the SunSmart website. Or if you would like more information on Vitamin D in general you can find it here.

 

The Audited – Safety from the Dining Room Table

S 2, Ep 8

In this episode we hear from Jason Mellings on his experience of having a VFF Making Our Farms Safer safety audit done. He shares what made him decide to get the audit done and what he has learnt from it. He also talks about the impact of bullying on the farm as an employer, and some things he has in place to help manage it.

If you would like your own farm safety audit done contact the Make Our Farms Safer team at 1300 882 833.

You can hear our podcast with John Darcy from the Make Our Farms Safer project in 'The Auditor – Man on a Mission'.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Making Our Farms Safer is a Victorian Farmers Federation project. The aim of the project is to deliver free safety tools and services across Victoria. These tools and services have a focus on safety, wellbeing and mental health. 

The available services include:

The project also has a range of handbooks available on different aspects of farm safety.

Are you a woman that wants to help advocate for farm safety? Plant a Seed for Safety is a project by farm safety advocate Alex Thomas. The project shares rural women's stories of encouraging safety on farms. 

Looking for more information about Farm Safety? Check out the National Centre for Farmer Health, Farm Safe Australia, Better Health Channel or Work Safe websites.

 

Health Quiz at Field Days

S 2, Ep9

In this episode, West Wimmera Health Service's own Trish Heinrich shares how she helps farmers at field days with on the spot health’ checks. Trish is a WWHS nurse, who also works for and trained by the National Centre for Farmer Health in Agrisafe’. She talks about what happens when you get a farmer health check and how they can help you. She also talks about her top tips for harvest time health.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

National Centre for Farmer Health contact details are:
Phone: (03) 5551 8533
Contact form: http://farmerhealth.org/contact-us
Website: https://farmerhealth.org.au/

A list of the Centre’s events, including the health assessments at field days can be found here.

Trish spoke about health screenings and how some people are not sure when to get them. The following links might help:
Regular health checks
Health checks for men
Health checks for women
Manage your health in your 40s
Manage your health in your 50s
Manage your health in your 60s
Manage your health in your 70s and older

High blood pressure and high cholesterol were said to be the most common things found during checks. But what are they exactly? Check out these links:
High blood pressure
Cholesterol

Trish gave us some of her tips to be healthy at harvest time, want to find some more? Check out the National Centre for Farmer Health tip sheet here. There are also loads more fact sheets available on their website here.

  

Help Close to Home

In this last episode of series two we have tried something a little different. Through the interviews we noticed some themes about the role of family and friends and the benefit of making access to health support easier. You will hear from a number of people about ways to get health help close to home. You will hear some familiar voices talk about the topics of telehealth and mental health. You will also hear some new ones on how family members can help.


We hope you enjoyed series two of Farmer Wants a Healthy Life. Please let us know any topics you would like to hear and feedback on the episodes.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

This episode has snippets from previous episodes, to hear them in full go to the following episodes:

  • John ‘Jumbo’ Suholz – AFL to Life with Depression
  • Mal Coutts – From Footy Coach to Rural Outreach Worker
  • Corinne Heintze – Alone, But not Lonely
  • Robyn Kelm – The Art of Listening

Dr Rob Grenfell is also a familiar voice on the series, however this is the first time he has spoken on Telehealth. You can hear Dr Rob on other important topics in the following episodes:

  • Ill From the Animal World
  • Special Edition – The need to know of COVID (Oct 2021)

Skin Cancer
Peter and Hannah French spoke about organising a skin check during the episode.

Looking for more information about skin cancer? Listen to our episode on the topics ‘Saving Your Skin’

Check out the Cancer Council, Better Health Channel and Health Direct websites.

Telehealth
Dr Rob talked about some of the benefits of Telehealth for those living in rural and regional areas, but what is it? You can find information on what it is, benefits of it, stories of using it and more here.

Live in a rural and regional area? Want to know more and get tip on your healthcare options?
You can find information at the Better Health Channel and Health Direct.

Find information on the Telehealth services West Wimmera Health Services offers here.

Not in a town West Wimmera Health Service covers? Contact your local health service to see what they offer.

Mental Health
Jumbo and Robyn spoke about being there for friends or having friends be there for them. You can find information on how to help someone or information on mental health matters at:

Better Health Channel

Health Direct

BeyondBlue 

Check out these fact sheets on Depression, Relationships and family, and Stress.

Some services available are:

 

Special Edition


The Need to Know of COVID-19

Season 1, Special Ep


In this special edition episode of Farmer Wants a Healthy Life we hear from Dr Rob Grenfell. The CSIRO Director, current public health expert, and ex-Natimuk General Practitioner, talks all things COVID-19. He shares his knowledge on COVID-19 vs. the flu, long COVID, the different variants, vaccines and much, much more. 

Hear how masks can make you like your favourite superhero and how your town could win the COVID Cup!

If you think you may have COVID you can call 1800 675 398 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Any other Victorian COVID information you may need can be found here.

 

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Check out this for more information on various topics Dr Rob spoke about:

People with long COVID

Long term effects of COVID

COVID vaccines


Do you want to know more about the COVID Cup?

Check out a recent Weekly Advertiser article here.


Where you can get a COVID vaccine:

  • Many pharmacies in the Wimmera Mallee have COVID-19 vaccines. Pop into yours and see if you can get one there
  • Or pop you information in this Vaccine Clinic Finder to find an easy location near you.


What is it like having COVID-19?

Check out these videos from people that have had it:

Kim’s experience of Victorian ICU

Will’s experience of long COVID

 

Season One


AFL to Life with Depression

 

In this episode Ex-AFL star John 'Jumbo' Sudholz shares his struggle with depression on returning to the farm.  He shares the hard times he faced, and how he has learned to live with depression.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of suicide call triple (000). 
Contact Suicide Line Victoria:24/7 phone number: 1300 651 251

Online or Video chat 

If you or someone you know needs urgent help contact Lifeline:

Phone: 13 11 14 

Website: www.lifeline.org.au

If you need immediate support for depression you can contact Beyond Blue at: 

24/7 phone number: 1300 224 636 

Online Chat available 1pm-12am 7 days a weeks

Emailing - receive a response in 24 hours

Or joining an online forum.

 

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

You can find out more information about depression and how to help someone at:

Better Health Channel
National Centre for Farmer Health
Health Direct
And BeyondBlue

Check out these fact sheets on Depression, Relationships and family, and Stress

Check out the You Got This Mate Program! The program is for men living in rural Australia, and aims to helps them reach their best mental health. It provides:

• Information on mental health matters

• Stories (much like these podcasts)

• Tips to look after your mental health

• Tips to help other men


There are also some services available to people in the Wimmera, including:

• The National Centre for Farmer Health’s Online Psychology Service

• The WWHS Social Work and Welfare Department

• The Rural Outreach program which you can reach at 1300 688 732. You can also hear more about this program in the episode ‘From Footy Coach to Rural Outreach Worker’. 


The Mental Tips

In this episode we hear from Dr Alison Kennedy from the National Centre for Farmer Health. Alison shares some tips for things you can do every day to help your mental health on the farm. She also tells us about some of the things that can happen when you don’t look after your mental health.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

The National Centre for Farmer Health has advice for specific to farmers on:

Depression
Relationships and family
Stress

You can also check out their Managing Stress on the Farm book here

Check out the You Got This Mate Program! The program is for men living in rural Australia, and aims to helps them reach their best mental health. It provides:

• Information on mental health matters

• Stories (much like these podcasts)

• Tips to look after your mental health

• Tips to help other men


III from the Animal World

In this episode we hear from ex-Natimuk GP and current CSIRO Director Dr Rob Grenfell. He shares his knowledge on diseases we can get from wild animals, as well as the domestic stock farmers deal with. He also talks about some ways you can protect yourself from these illnesses.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?
Check out these fact sheets on Handling Livestock and Animals and Diseases.

There were a range of diseases Dr Rob Grenfell mentioned in the episode. You can find more on some them below:
Ross River Fever
Hendra virus
Dengue Fever
Malaria
Murray Valley Encephalitis
Hydatid
Q-Fever
Brucellosis
Many of the infections Dr Rob talked about can also be found here.


The Pain of Ross River

In this episode local farmer Glen Burke shares his journey with Ross River Fever. He talks about what it was like at its worst and how it still affects him physically. He also discusses how having Ross River affected other parts of his life, including the impact on his family.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Looking for some more information about Ross River Fever? Check out the Better Health Channel and Health Direct websites, or this NSW Health fact sheet here.


From Footy Coach to Rural Outreach Worker

In this episode Mal Coutts shares how he went from footy coach to a Rural Outreach Worker, and what he does in that role. He shares his insights into farmer mental health, challenges of the farming life, and how he can help.In this episode Mal Coutts shares how he went from footy coach to a Rural Outreach Worker, and what he does in that role. He shares his insights into farmer mental health, challenges of the farming life, and how he can help.
You can reach the Rural Outreach Program (Mal or one of the other M's) at 1300 688 732. Or find more information at https://ruraloutreach.org.au 


Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Check out these fact sheets on Depression, Relationships and family, and Stress.


You can also find easy to follow checklists on managing the pressures of farming here


Check out the You Got This Mate Program! The program is for men living in rural Australia, and aims to helps them reach their best mental health. It provides:

  • Information on mental health matters
  • Stories (much like these podcasts)
  • Tips to look after your mental health
  • Tips to help other men

The Other Side of Suicide

In this episode Gurjit Sondhu shares her story of her husband’s suicide and what hindsight made her realise. She also shares her experience of coming to farming life for the first time and life as a farmer’s wife.In this episode Gurjit Sondhu shares her story of her husband’s suicide and what hindsight made her realise. She also shares her experience of coming to farming life for the first time and life as a farmer’s wife.

Contact Suicide Line Victoria:

24/7 phone number: 1300 651 251

Online or Video chat 


If you or someone you know needs urgent help contact Lifeline:

Phone: 13 11 14 

Website: www.lifeline.org.au


If you need immediate support for depression you can contact Beyond Blue at: 

24/7 phone number: 1300 224 636 

Online Chat available 1pm-12am 7 days a weeks

Emailing - receive a response in 24 hours

Or joining an online forum.


Interested in the topic and looking for more?

If you have lost someone due to suicide you can find support at Suicide Line


You can find information on suicide warning signs and how to respond at:

National Centre for Farmer Health

You Got This Mate

Better Health Channel


Go to The Ripple Effect. The program is for people affected by suicide, in rural communities.  It provides an opportunity to:

  • Tell - your insights of how suicide has affected your life
  • Share - Insights gained from the program with others
  • Read - Insights from others on suicide
  • Watch - Stories from people affected who want to stop future suicides
  • Learn - How to support others, reduce stigma and look after yourself in tough times

Suicide can occur due to a person having depression. If you wish to find out more about depression go to the Better Health Channel or Health Direct. You can also listen to our episode (John’s episode name).


Gurjit talks about how farm succession caused her family issues. You can find some information about why succession planning is important here. This is also a fact sheet available on a range of aspects to consider here. You can also find some other information on key aspects of farm succession here.


Men's Business

In this episode we hear from Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse Mandy Johns. She shares her knowledge on things that increase the risk of this cancer, and how to test for it. She also shares her tale of getting into this role.
You can reach the Wimmera Cancer Centre at 5381 9169 or wimmeracancercentre@whcg.org.au.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Looking for some more information about prostate cancer? Check out the Health Direct and Cancer Council websites.

Do you have prostate cancer or know someone that does? Check out the Movemeber True North website. Here you will find lots of articles to inform and support you.

Mandy shared a few statistics, are you interested in finding out some more? Check out this page on Prostate Cancer in Australia.

Do you, or someone you know, currently have cancer of any kind? You may want to check out the Cancer Survivor Guide. It is a podcast series for those diagnosed with cancer, hosted by a cancer survivor. It shares a range of information on treatments and tips on how to the effects of them easier.

Mandy mentioned working with an urologist in the episode. Not sure what they do and want to know some more? Find it here.


A Prostate Journey

In this episode ex-farmer Brian Nagorcka shares his story of having prostate cancer. He discusses what made him get tested and what has happened since. He also talks about the benefits of talking to others who experience prostate cancer and how the support group he runs helps.

To get in touch with the support group go to Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Looking for some more information about prostate cancer? Check out the Health Direct and Cancer Council websites.

Do you have prostate cancer or know someone that does? Check out the Movember True North website. Here you will find lots of articles to inform and support you.

Brian mentioned getting a PSA test, but what is it exactly? You can find out more about it at Health Direct.

Do you, or someone you know, currently have cancer of any kind? You may want to check out the Cancer Survivor Guide. It is a podcast series for those diagnosed with cancer, hosted by a cancer survivor. It shares a range of information on treatments and tips on how to the effects of them easier.