The ongoing drought is impacting farmers and isolated communities throughout New South Wales as the lack of rain leads to mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has supported these communities for many years and as the situation worsens our mental health services provide a lifeline to people in the bush.
For those of us not amidst the drought, it’s hard to grasp the reality of the heartbreak farmers like Kerry are facing every day.
“I don’t want to think about the long-range forecast. It will finish people. It could finish us. It's devastating,” Kerry said.
“Sometimes the worry and the isolation becomes too much. We could lose everything. I wake up every morning so tense and filled with worry.”
On the land it’s easy to feel isolated and alone
When your closest neighbours live hours away, it’s easy for farming families to feel isolated and alone.
Self-care is not easy to fit in when the farm and the livestock are the number one priority - especially in drought.
The despair is overwhelming when farmers have to shoot their cattle or sheep so they don’t die of starvation.
“I can’t think about losing more stock. I love them,” Kerry said. “You can’t survive out here if you don’t love the land and your animals. We’ve had to de-stock though. You have to, to survive.”
Farmers need your help now more than ever
People in rural and remote parts of Australia are twice as likely to commit suicide than their city neighbours, and the drought puts added pressure on farmers and families in despair.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service has been working in the NSW communities affected by the drought for 90 years. Now we urgently need your help to ensure our critical mental health support is available.
For farmers like Kerry, having someone from the Flying Doctor team to speak with is critical and puts hope back in reach.
Your donations will help our farmers
A $60 donation to the RFDS can connect remote farmers with a mental health nurse so they can get the immediate support they need.
Your gift can help get the life-changing mental health care support farmers urgently need during the toughest times of their lives.
Together, we can look after our farmers doing it tough.