Mental health programs rolled out

Mental health programs rolled out

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The government is rolling out programs to build resilience in more than 25 local government areas.

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Minister for Mental Health James Merlino.

Minister for Mental Health James Merlino.

The Victorian government is supporting the mental health of farmers across the state, rolling out projects to build resilience in more than 25 local government areas.

Programs will be run from the Bass Coast to Buloke and from the Gippsland Lakes to the Grampians.

Agriculture Minister Mary-Anne Thomas visited the Elmhurst Bush Nursing Centre, to see the Resourceful Farmers' Project, which is being delivered in partnership with local community organisations.

"Our farmers have faced many challenges over the years, including drought, bushfires and now the pandemic, which all take their toll on resilience," Ms Thomas said.

"This project ensures farmers and their communities are supported to focus on their mental health."

The project aims to build resilience through mental health training, pop-up clinics and events which foster social connections.

The Resilient Farming Communities Project is a two-year joint Agriculture Victoria and Department of Health initiative to support farmers, farming families and communities to better manage stress and improve their health.

Eleven councils, Primary Care Partnerships (PCPs) and private organisations will share in $2.9 million to deliver programs that will increase awareness of mental health treatment options, care and support services, while enhancing social connectedness through community events and training.

Initiatives include outreach services, on-farm health workshops, wellbeing plans for rural communities, the delivery of resilience programs in secondary schools, and mental health first aid training.

The Grampians Pyrenees PCP has received funding for The Resourceful Farmers' Project.

Minister for Mental Health James Merlino said providing early-intervention mental health support could be genuinely life-changing - especially for rural communities.

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