Look Over the Farm Gate grants have opened for farmers and communities facing drought and dry conditions across central and eastern Gippsland and northern Victoria. Community groups in drought affected communities have already begun to apply online for grants of $1,500 to run events that address mental health and wellbeiappng.
“We know the pressures of drought conditions weigh heavily on farmers and rural communities. The stress and uncertainty currently being felt across the state will linger and mental health support must be part of our long-term drought support strategy,” said David Jochinke, Victorian Farmers Federation President.
“Look Over the Farm Gate events are an opportunity for farmers to take a break from the farm, reconnect with their community, access professional support and participate in mental health training.
You know what your community needs, so we encourage community groups to think creatively about what single event or series of events would be most effective. It could be anything from a barbeque and comedy night, regular fitness meet-ups in the park, or a family movie night” said Mr Jochinke.
Look Over the Farm Gate is a mental health and wellbeing initiative funded by the Victorian Government (drought support funding committed in September 2018), and managed by the Victorian Farmers Federation in partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Country Women’s Association, Country Fire Authority, and National Centre for Farmer Health. Applications are being accepted for events until March 2019 and are assessed on a first in best dressed basis.
This round of grants builds upon existing Look Over the Farm Gate grants opened earlier this year for fire- affected farmers in south west Victoria. Community groups in the south west can continue to apply for grants to run events up until May 2019.
For more information about eligibility and how to apply, please visit the Look Over the Farm Gate website at www.lookoverthefarmgate.org.au or contact the Coordinator at [email protected]
David Jochinke, Victorian Farmers Federation President, 0427 834 524
Heather Smillie, Look Over the Farm Gate Coordinator, 0400 874 589