Show to tell farmers 'it'll be all right'

DURING the past few months in her role as a rural financial counsellor, Donna Neale-Arnold has come to realise the enormous impact the January floods has had on the region's farmers.

"The stress levels are through the roof," Ms Neale-Arnold said.

"For some farmers, well a lot of them, it is make or break at the moment."

The devastation has been so great this time around that Warwick has qualified for a visit from a roadshow called 'It'll be Alright in the Long Run'.

Organised by the Australian Centre for Rural and Mental Health, the event features entertainment from ex-Redgum band members, John Schumann and Hugh McDonald, guest speakers and stalls with information on mental health and well-being.

Ms Neale-Arnold thought it was exactly what the flood-affected farmers of the region needed.

"It is a fantastic idea and is certainly needed," she said.

"It would be good if it promoted the need for self-care as well. There is a fair bit of illness amongst the farmers after the floods.

"I'm not sure if it is from the floodwaters or from the stress levels."

Ms Neale-Arnold said if information was available at the stalls on mental health there was a good chance the farmers would pick up a brochure and take it home.

And she's not the only one aware of the issues faced by the region's farmers.

The most recent meeting of the Human and Social and Economic Committee, which is chaired by councillor Denise Ingram, highlighted the mental health of flood-affected farmers as a major concern.

Whether or not the show goes ahead comes down to the Southern Downs Regional Council approving it during today's general meeting.

It is not a free event and the council will have to pay $16,000 for the group to stop in at Warwick.

The $16,000 includes band fees, travel, a jumping castle for kids and the production of advertising material.

However in the report presented to the council today it states the money is available from the council's Flexible Funding Grant program.

The Southern Downs Regional Council manager of community services and community development has asked the councillors to approve the funding of the event.

The manager has also asked the council to approve a further $16,000 to bus flood-affected farmers from other areas such as Stanthorpe, Leyburn and Killarney.

If approved the event will take place in Warwick on May 23.

If you or anyone you know needs help phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Do you think the event would be worthwhile for flood-affected farmers? Let us know by emailing editor@warwickdailynews.com.au or having your say on Facebook or in comments below.



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