Mental health day brings extra benefits

If you want to lift the spirits of farmers facing dry times...there's no better solution than rain. And that's what came with the "Get Up and Go Garema Gathering" rural mental health day held on Thursday, March 5, at the Central West Livestock Exchange near Forbes in central-west NSW. The rain came down all day - to the delight of organisers and participants - which was what prompted the change of venue from the Garema Hall to the livestock selling centre.  The day was the brainchild of Garema farmer Tom Norris and his Garema Hall committe, but it wouldn't have happened without the support of many other organisations including Lachlan Area Suicide Prevention Network, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP), Forbes City Council, Forbes and District Lions Club, Department of Primary Industries Rural Resilience Program, Country Women''s Association, Forbes Men's Shed and the local Rural Fire Service. The day attracted almost 200 people, and featured various speakers including retired police detective Craig Semple, farmers Geoff Chase and Chris Wilson, radiographer Jenny Webb and Sam and Jenny Bailey.

Speakers at the "Get Up and Go Garema Gathering" (l-r) Craig Semple, Jenny Webb, Chris Wilson, Sam Bailey and Geoff Chase.

Sam and Jenny Bailey with the Garema Hall committee who helped organise and initiated the rural mental health day at Forbes on March 5.