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      

Listen to season four, our most recent season below, or check out it and all the other season's episodes at https://farmerwantsahealthylife.buzzsprout.com/1778116 or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Season Four

More to Me than Farming

In this episode we hear from Nick Blandford about the impact self-worth has had on his life. He shares what a community program helped him realise about himself and being a farmer. He also talks about what supports are out there for farmers now and what he would like to see for them in future.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

In the episode Nick shared how he realised he was struggling with his self-worth and what steps he took to help him. But what is self-worth? You can find out more about it and some tips to improve it at BetterHelp. You can also find other tips and information to help you if you are feeling worthless at Health Direct.

Did you know self-worth and self-esteem are not the same? They are similar in many ways but there are differences. Want to know what they are? Check out the information page here. You can find more information about self-esteem and tips to help when it is low here:

Nick talked about how one of his first steps was to see his GP and get a mental health plan to help with his self-worth. But what is a mental health plan and how can it help people struggling with their mental health? Check out the below websites for information:

Nick mentioned volunteering was something he enjoyed off farm that helped his mental health. Interested in volunteering with Landcare or the CFA like Nick? They have groups all over Australia and you can find one near you at:

Interested in volunteering, but not sure those groups are for you? Check out the below for other volunteering opportunities:

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

You can also listen to our episodes below for hear other ways volunteering has and can help people:

Nick also talked about how the National Centre for Farmer Health is a great asset for farmers. You check out their Health and Wellbeing fact sheets here. They also have an online psychology service available here.

In the episode Nick talked about some of the findings in the National Farmers Federal Wellbeing report. Interested in seeing what else it found out about farmer health? You can find the report here. You can also find news articles on it by:

Nick talked about some of the ways farmers could help each other and the industry could help them. One of them was setting up a group like Farmers for Climate Action for mental health. Not heard about Farmers for Climate Action before? Find out more here.

You can also find out more about farmers and climate change at Agriculture Victoria. Or check out our episode Farming Through Change.

Nick spoke about how farm succession has caused some issues in his family. 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.


 Land and People Working Together

In this episode we hear from Mary Johnson on working with, rather than on, the land. Mary shares her experiences of growing up on the farm and how she has developed a strong connection to the land. She also talks about the benefits of working together and time off the farm.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

In the episode Mary talked about the importance of volunteers to small towns, are you interested in volunteering? Nor sure where to start?

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

Mary spoke about the benefits of working with, rather than on, the land and some of the practices she found to do this. These practices included regeneration and revegetation, want to learn more about them? Check out these factsheets:

Mary spoke of how her time on the farm was a chance to recharge her batteries and how it made her feel better. Yet, this was not the same for Philip who spends all his time on the farm. For Philip and other farmers, Mary talked about the importance of time off the farm. For information about why this is important and tips for doing so checkout Farm Strong. You can also find a recent ABC story of how other farmers have managed taking time off the farm here.

Taking time off the farm can also be a way of helping with stress. For other tips on managing stress on the farm go to the National Centre for Farmer Health. For general tips with stress go to:

Facebook: @FarmerWantsaHealthyLife 

Twitter: @_FWAHL


The Gambling Rollercoaster

In this episode we hear from Jan Brunswick about how her partner’s gambling affected her. Jan shares how she tried to help and the reasons she stayed as long as she did. She also shares why she left them for good and how she helps others in the same position now.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Are you like Jan needing support because of someone’s gambling? The following gambling services are there to help you and them:

You can also check out these websites for tips and advice on helping someone your worried about:

In the episode Jan talked a lot about the impact her partner’s gambling had on their finances. If you are in a similar position, there are services available to help:

Financial counselling services:

Jan found that the 12 Step Program was and is a very useful thing for her whilst dealing with gambling harm. But what is the 12 Step Program? Find out more about it here. The program is well known to be used by those with an addiction. Find out more about these groups below and where to find them near you at:

In the episode Jan mentioned she attended Al-Anon and Gam-Anon. These groups are for those affected by others drinking or gambling, like Jan was.

Jan talked about how she volunteers, helping others affected by gambling. One of the programs Jan mentioned is the ReSPIN program where she shares her story with others. The other program was the Peer Connection program, listening to those going through what she did.

If you would like to learn more about gambling harm you can go to Gamblers Help or Health Direct. You can also check out our other episodes:

Facebook: @FarmerWantsaHealthyLife 

Twitter: @_FWAHL


The Outback Mind

In this episode we hear from Aaron Schultz on his journey to better health for himself and men in the country. Aaron shares how alcohol, anxiety and exercise have shaped his life. He also shares what made him start The Outback Mind and his hopes for its future.

Check out The Outback Mind Foundation via the website, Facebook and Instagram. You can also listen to The Outback Mind podcast on the website, Spotify, Podbean or iTunes.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

In the episode Aaron talked about alcohol culture and what effect it had on his life. If you, like Aaron, are concerned about the impact alcohol has on your life, you can reach out for support at:

For more information about alcohol and its impacts on health, check out:

Aaron talked about how his anxiety diagnosis was a turning point for him and how he lives his life. For more information on anxiety check out:

To help with his anxiety Aaron’s doctor suggested he exercise. If you’re a man living in rural Australia looking to exercise more, check out You Got This Mate for tips and information. You can also check out the Active Farmers program and find a group near you. For more information on it check out our episodes:

Farmer Wants a Healthy Life episodes that talk benefits of exercise on mental health:

In the episode Aaron talked about how meditation was one of the other things that helped him. Interested in beginning it yourself? Check out Headspace and Health Direct for some great tips for starting and its benefits. You can also check out Smiling Mind for some handy guided meditation videos.

Live in rural Australia? Would like support of information about mental health? Check out these programs and information pages:

The National Centre for Farmer Health also has an online psychology service available here.

Join the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life conversation.


Child Safe Farms

In this episode we hear from Jessie Adams from the National Centre for Farmer Health. Jessie shares how she is working toward making farms safer for children. She shares her top tips for what you can do now, and programs currently running.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Want to hear more about the surveys Jessie did? You can find out more information here.

In the episode Jessie mentioned the VFF Children on Farms Handbook. The Handbook, part of the Making Our Farms Safer project, can be downloaded here. For more information on the project check out their website. The Handbook was created as part of the Making Our Farm Families Safer campaign. The campaign also includes a range of videos which you can find here.

Don’t forget to check out our episodes on the Making Our Farms Safer farm safety audits too:

You can also find a range of tips and resources on children’s farm safety at:

Jessie also talked about a program aimed at high school students called Gear Up for Ag. The program aims to increase knowledge of farm hazards and safe practices for teens. You can find out more about the program here.


At Home in the Garden

In this episode we hear from Anna Johansson on her experience of being a Swedish woman on an Aussie farm. Anna shares her joy of growing and eating her own food. She also shares how she finds happiness outside of the money-making rat race.

You can see Anna’s home grown produce and some of what she makes with them on her farm’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Looking after yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your health. This is especially true for your mental health. Did you know self-care is about doing things that help your overall wellbeing? Not just a special indulgence? It can include things like gardening, and we have heard all about the obvious joy it brings to Anna’s life. Find more self-care tips at:

Gardening can also be a form of mindfulness, find out more here. You can also find out more about mindfulness and meditation techniques at:

Anna and Tim are basically self-sufficient on their farm, want to know more about how do it yourself? Check out Australian Organic Products and Sustainable Gardening for more information. Anna also talked about using plants instead of pesticides to stop pests, want to know more about how? Check out:

Join the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life conversation.


 Farmer’s Best Friend

In this episode we hear from Kelly Barnes about what led her to start the Mates Dog School. Kelly shares her passion for her dogs and how they have helped her mental health, and how she uses it to help others. She also talks about the way we as people, especially farmers, see dogs in our lives.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Want to hear more about Kelly’s Mates Dog School? Check out the Mates Dog School Facebook page. You can also find articles about the school done on the:

Kelly won the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award in 2020, which lead to the Mates Dog School. You can watch Kelly talking about the award and the school here. Find more information about the award and other past winners here.

AgriFutures does a lot of other work supporting rural communities. Find out more about AgriFutures and how they could support your idea here.

Kelly got the idea for the Mates Dog School from time spent with her own dog Dugald. There are many ways pets, especially dogs, can benefit our health. Check out the below for some of the other benefits:

Kelly began first seeing her relationship with Dugald differently after her Fibromyalgia diagnosis. Not sure what Fibromyalgia is? Or want to learn more about it? Check out:

Fibromyalgia can cause chronic pain for those that have it. To hear more about chronic pain, check out our episodes:

Join the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life conversation.


Tell Your Story Once

In this episode we hear from Mandy Noble, a Service System Navigator with The Orange Door Horsham. Mandy talks about what The Orange Door is and how it came about. She also talks about Family Violence and its different forms. In an emergency call 000.

If you live in the Wimmera and need support, you can contact The Orange Door in Horsham by:

  • Calling 1800 271 042
  • Or find them at 3-7 Madden St, Horsham.

Don’t live in the Wimmera and need support? You can find other The Orange Door locations and phone numbers here.

You can also call free confidential counselling services 24/7:

  • In Victoria – Safe Steps call 1800 015 188 or visit their website.
  • Across Australia – 1800 RESPECT call 1800 737 732 or visit their website.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

If you would like to learn more about The Orange Door, you can visit their website here. You can also watch a short video in The Orange Door here. Other Family and Domestic Violence services available to support people are:

Mandy mentioned The Orange Door often works with other organisations in the Wimmera. Check out their websites below for more on what they offer:

In the episode Mandy used the terms ‘Victim Survivor’ and ‘Perpetrator’ a lot. Not sure what they mean? Or would like to learn more about Family and Domestic Violence terms? Check out this Victorian Government website for a full list of common terms used.

Want to learn more about Family and Domestic Violence and the different forms it can take? Check out a short video by The Orange Door here. You can also find out more information at:

Mandy spoke briefly about how gender inequality impacts Family and Domestic Violence. Women’s Health Grampians does a lot of work toward reducing gender inequality. To find out more about this work check out their website.


Moving Marnoo

In this episode we hear from Tania Walter about how she is helping farmers to be more active in Marnoo. She shares her passion for running the group and the joy it brings to her and others that come. She also talks about how her and her husband run a bio-dynamic farm and how that came about.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Has listening to Tania inspired you to put more movement in your life? Not sure where or how best to start? Check out these websites for tips, advice, and ideas on how to start and putting more movement in your days.

Thinking of joining a group like Tania’s Farm Fit group? Maybe an Active Farmers groups is for you. 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:

You can also listen to our Farmer Wants a Healthy Life episodes of people that have been part of Active Farmers:

Tania talked a bit about how exercise can help people with their mental wellbeing. Want to learn more about how exercise can help mental wellbeing? Check out the below websites for more information:

For other tips and advice to help reduce stress you can also check out:

In the episode Tania talked about her and her husband’s farm and some of the things that happen there. Interested in finding out more about it? Check out their website and social media pages below.

Burrum Biodynamics


Out of the Tunnel of Grief

In this episode we hear from Margaret Millington about the impact death has had on her life. She shares the lessons she has learnt from losing people she loves, and the need to be aware of dangers. She also talks about what brought her to the Wimmera and how it offered her a chance for renewal.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

In the episode Margaret shared how her grief affected her and what helped her through it. Grief is different for everyone and can be different between losses for an individual. You can find more information about grief and some tips to help at:

The first experience of grief that Margaret spoke about was that of her little girl, who died in a farm accident. Farm safety is vital for all those on a farm. You can find a range of tips and information about farm safety at:

You can also get in contact with the Making Our Farms Safer project to organise a farm safety consult. You can hear more about the project on our episodes:

You can also find a range of tips and resources on children’s farm safety at:

Margaret had two sons involved in accidents on the road. From this she learnt the unforeseen happens and we always need to be aware.

Road safety is not something people often want to think about, but it is something we need to consider. A Margaret said, ‘accidents happen so easily’. For tips on staying safe on the roads check out:

For those for whom driving is their job there are some tips specially for you at Work Safe.

Margaret talked about how her son became an accidental addict to painkillers. His addiction started after he got injured in a car accident and affected many aspects of his life. Want to know more about addiction? You can find information at:

Are you, or someone you care about struggling with addiction? Help is available. You can get support at the following when you need it:

If you are struggling with gambling harm, you can also listen to and find resources in our episodes:

Margaret also spoke briefly about the impact the Karen community has had on her and her husband, John. To hear more about the Karen’s story and Margaret and John’s role in it check out:

Join the Farmer Wants a Healthy Life conversation.


 

Season Three

Attitude is Everything

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In this episode we hear from Lyall McClure, Natimuk local who has not let close calls with death stop him. Lyall shares his four close calls with death and how he has moved forward with his life after. He also shares how he keeps a smile on his face and joy for life.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

In the episode Lyall mentioned one of his close calls was a heart attack, but 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.

Are you worried about your heart? You can find tips about looking after your heart in a variety of ways including:

You can also listen to our episode ‘Heart Hiccups’ for another experience of having a heart attack.

Lyall also mentioned that he is currently trying to quit smoking. Are you trying to do the same? Thinking about doing the same? Or supporting someone to quit? Visit QUIT for lots of help information on how or call 13 7848 for support. 

Lyall has been through a lot, but has managed to keep a positive state of mind. But it is ok to reach out for support if you go through similar and need it. You can find help and support at:

  • 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'.
  • Beyond Blue – The leading Australian mental health support organisation. Phone: 1300 22 4636 or webchat.
  • Are you bogged mate? – A program helping country blokes talk about mental health.

The Ins and Outs of Stress

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In this episode, West Wimmera Health Service's own Leanne Yew talks about stress. Leanne is WWHS's lead social worker. She shares her knowledge on stress, our responses to it and how long term stress can affect us. She also share her tips for managing stress and where to get help.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

The WWHS social work and welfare department can help with a wide variety of things, including:

  • Counselling for individuals, couples and families.
  • Support for parenting, grief, trauma and crisis.
  • Referral to services such as housing, employment and legal services.
  • Help with Centrelink payments.
  • Financial counselling and emergency relief.
  • Support for child protection and from domestic violence.

For further details contact West Wimmera Health Service on (03) 5391 4222.

Leanne spoke a lot about what stress is and some tips to manage it. For more information check out:

Stress can be hard to manage, and if it goes for a long time you may need to seek professional help. Some place you can go for this are:

You can also check out programs like:

Leanne also spoke about how mindfulness and breathing exercises can help with stress. You can find the Smiling Mind program and app she spoke about here


Living Your Best Life with Pain

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In this episode we hear from Gary Smith on his experience living with chronic pain. Gary shares how pain effects his everyday life and how he copes. He also shares how his passion for his animals helps him deal with the pain and live his life.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

You can also find more information on chronic pain in general at Health Direct.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee Integrated Pain Service helps those with chronic pain. The service provides tailored treatments to be able to live with and recover from chronic pain. You can hear more about the service in our ‘Understanding Chronic Pain’ episode.

Gary mentioned that people had suggested that exercising may help with his pain. He did not feel it helped him, but it may help you if you suffer from chronic pain. For more information on this check out Exercise Right.

You can also check out the Pain Revolution. It has lots of information and programs for people in rural areas with chronic pain.

You can also find other fact sheets and information on pain management here.


Being True to You

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In this episode we hear from Leigh Dwyer, farmer, long time CFA volunteer and trans woman. Leigh shares her story and how she has come to accept all parts of herself. She also talks about her experiences since transitioning.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Are you part of the LGBTI+ community and looking for support? Check out these dedicated support services and advice pages:

  • Rainbow Door – A free support service specialising in LGBTI+ Victorians, their friends and family. It is a helpline that provides information, advice and referrals. Hours: 10am-5pm everyday. Email: support@rainbowdoor.org.au   Phone: 1800 729 367 or Text: 0480 017 246
  • QLife – An anonymous free LGBTI+ peer support and referral service. It is for people in Australia wanting to talk about a range of topics. Hours: 3pm to midnight everyday, Phone: 1800 184 527 or webchat.
  • Beyond Blue – Has a dedicated section for mental health issues affecting the LGBTI+ community. Phone: 1300 22 4636 or webchat.

Do you live in the Wimmera and are part of the LGBTI+ community or an ally? You may be interested in connecting with the Wimmera Pride Project. Check out their website and Facebook page. You can also listen to our episode 'The Wimmera Pride Project’ to hear more about it.

Trans Gender Victoria is Victoria’s leading body for trans and gender diverse people. Working to achieve better outcomes across the board for their communities. In their Country Roads to Pride Gallery, you can find more stories like Leigh’s, check it out here.

In the episode Leigh spoke a bit about her experience transitioning / gender affirmation. You can find out more about what gender affirmation here. You can also find more advice on coming out / transitioning at:

  • The Trevor Project – A handbook full of information for LGBTI+ youth.
  • GLSEN – A resource for LGBTI+ students on coming out.
  • KidsHelpline – The teen section has an article with lots of information on coming out and disclosure.

Leigh talked about discrimination - she has received a lot - in the episode. You can find out more about these struggles faced by trans / gender diverse persons at:

 To find out more about the terms used by the LGBTI+ community check out this glossary.


The Hidden Harm

In this episode we hear from John Bradshaw about gambling. He shares his knowledge about the harm it can cause, tips for stopping and services available to help you.

He also talks about the sessions he provides for kids on gambling and how it is not a normal part of sport.

If you need help with gambling you can contact Gamblers Help’s confidentially 24/7 for free at 1800 858 858.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Cafs is a proudly independent organisation, driven by the community it supports. At its heart is the wellbeing of children, young people and families. It also extends its inclusive and accessible program to everyone needing help.

Gambling help services:

Financial counselling services:

In the episode John gave some tips for helping to stop gambling, such as:

  • Setting a limit
  • Alternative recreations
  • Spending time with mates at the races instead

You can also check out these links for more tips:

John also discusses how he talks to kids about how gambling is not a normal part of sport. If you are interested in getting John to talk about this at your school or community group you can find out how here.

Love The Game Not The Odds is a Victorian program focused on gambling not being a necessary part of sport.  Your local club can get involved.


Farming Through Change

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In this episode we hear from farmer David Drage about how climate change affects farmers. David shares what he is doing to adapt to climate change and what help is available. He also shares what he is doing as part of Adapt Grampians.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Adapt Grampians is a regional hub working to ensure we adjust and thrive in our changing climate. It is a regional hub for:

  • Information sharing
  • Learning and
  • Inspiration

David talked about the rainfall loss over years, and its effects. If you would like to see more about these patterns and the history, you can here

Agriculture Victoria has a range of information on climate and weather, including:

  • Climate updates, newsletters and webinars
  • Understanding weather, climate and forecasting
  • Understanding carbon and emissions
  • Resources
  • Agriculture and climate change

VFF did a feature on climate change in Victorian Farmer in their Spring 2021 which you can check out here.

There are a range of resources available for farmers, on climate events, such as:


The Wimmera Pride Project

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In this episode we hear from Patrick Quiane about the Wimmera Pride Project. Patrick shares his knowledge about the LGBTI+ community, and some of their struggles.

He also shares how being queer in a small town can be different to the city. He also talks about the joy coming out can bring and how important support is.

You can find out more about the Wimmera Pride Project via their Website, Facebook page or their Contact form.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Patrick talked about a lot of acronyms and words that might be unfamiliar. To find out more about them check out this glossary.

Are you part of the LGBTI+ community and looking for support? Check out these dedicated support services and advice pages:

  • Rainbow Door  - A free support service specialising in LGBTI+ Victorians, their friends and family. This helpline that provides information, advice and referral. Hours: 10am - 5pm everyday, Email: support@rainbowdoor.org.au  Phone: 1800 729 367 or Text: 0480 017 246
  • QLife - An anonymous free LGBTI+ peer support and referral service. It is for people in Australia wanting to talk about a range of topics. Hours: 3pm to midnight everyday, Phone: 1800 184 527 or Webchat.
  • BeyondBlue – Has a dedicated section for mental health issues affecting the LGBTIQ+ community. Phone: 1300 22 4636 or webchat.
  • KidsHelpline – Has a dedicated section for teens, covering a range of topics, including LGBTI+. Phone: 1800 55 1800, email: councsellor@kidshelpline.com.au or webchat, 24 hours 7 days a week.
  • ReachOut – Has a dedicated section on sexuality and gender, which includes lots of information and stories.

During the episode Patrick talked about HIV and its prevention. You can find more information on the following topics below:

Patrick spoke about the experience of coming out, and the struggle it can be and the positives that come from it. The following can provide advice and help to guide people through this:

Are you a parent unsure how to talk to your child about sexuality and gender? You can find advice for parents here.

We heard that accessing gender affirming healthcare can be difficult in rural areas. Unsure about what gender affirmation is? You can find information about what it is here.

Want more information about the service Patrick mentioned in Ballarat? You can find it here.


Not Worth the Gamble

In this episode we hear from Dan Irwin, about his experience with gambling. Dan shares how he become addicted to gambling and how it affected him and his family. He also shares what made him quit and how he helps others to do so now.

If you need help with gambling you can contact Gamblers Help’s confidentially 24/7 for free at 1800 858 858.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

Gambling help services:

Dan talked about how he volunteers, helping others struggling with gambling. One of the programs Dan mentioned is the ReSPIN program where he shares his story with others. The other program is the Peer Connection program, talking to and helping those trying to quit.

In the episode Dan shared some of the things that he did that helped him to stop gambling. Find other tips that might work for you at:

You can also hear other tips in our upcoming episode ‘The Hidden Harm’.

Dan urged leaders of sport clubs to talk to players about the dangers of betting and gambling. A program that could help with these discussions is Love The Game Not The Odds. It is a Victorian program focused on this as well, which your local club can get involved in.


Understanding Chronic Pain

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In this episode we hear from David Manning and Ben Weissner, who talk all things chronic pain. They share the ways they are working to help people with chronic pain to recover and function well. They also share a few tips for pain management.

Find more on the Wimmera and Southern Mallee Integrated Pain Service here.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

You can also find more information on chronic pain in general at Health Direct.

In the episode David and Ben talked about how beneficial staying active can be for chronic pain. For more information on this check out Exercise Right.

You can also check out the Pain Revolution. It has lots of information and programs for people in rural areas with chronic pain.

You can also find other fact sheets and information on pain management here.


Women Thriving on Farm

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In this first episode of season three, we hear from some of the attendees of the recent Gather Grow and Thrive event. They share their experiences of being a woman on a farm and how it has changed over time. They also talk about the importance of connection and how they can be change agents.

Interested in the topic and looking for more?

The Gather Grow and Thrive event was hosted by Partners in Ag. You can find out more about the Partners in Ag organisation here.

The second speaker in the episode Jo Burke, spoke a lot on the pipeline project and the benefits it has had. If you would like to know more about the Wimmera Mallee pipeline you can find it here.

Many of the speakers in the episode talked about the importance of safety on farms. You can find lots of information about farm safety at:

A particular concern that was talked about in the episode was child safety on farms. You can find lots of information on this at:

You can also listen to our two episodes on the VFF Making Our Farms Safer Project:

  • ‘The Auditor – Man on a Mission’
  • ‘The Audited – Safety from the Dining Room Table’

It was also mentioned by one of the speakers than women can be change agents for safety on farms. If you would like to see stories about some women that are doing this check out Plant a Seed for Safety

In the episode Kazz says her partner has been part of our podcast before talking about Active Farmers. She mentioned how great the group has been for all the guys there and what they do together for the community. Check out the episode ‘Social Side of Exercise’ to hear Daniel talking about the group. You can also find more information about Active Farmers groups here.

 

 

Season Two

Guys Just Wanna Have Fun

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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

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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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

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.