Tack­ling ru­ral de­pres­sion one step at a time

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - Farm Safety -

CASE IH brand leader Bruce Healy is fully com­mit­ted to the com­pany’s part­ner­ship with men­tal health or­gan­i­sa­tion be­yond­blue.

In fact, he’s tak­ing his re­spon­si­bil­ity 126,000 steps fur­ther by walk­ing the New York City Marathon in Novem­ber and he hopes to raise $5000 for be­yond­blue through his ef­forts.

Agri­cul­tural ma­chin­ery com­pany, Case IH has teamed up with be­yond­blue to raise aware­ness of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety in farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and the com­pany has pledged to do­nate at least $100,000 a year to the char­ity.

“At first, it was a per­sonal fit­ness chal­lenge for me,” Mr Healy said.

“I was over­weight and I wanted to lose a few ki­los and im­prove my health, so I set a pretty big goal to get me mo­ti­vated.

“But af­ter talk­ing with our deal­ers and cus­tomers out there in the field, I re­alised just how im­por­tant be­yond­blue’s work is to ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“Just about ev­ery­one work­ing in agri­cul­ture knows some­one deal­ing with de­pres­sion or anx­i­ety.

“So I’m ded­i­cat­ing my marathon to the char­ity,” he said.

Stud­ies show farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties in Aus­tralia ex­pe­ri­ence men­tal health is­sues at twice the rate of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion – with fi­nan­cial pres­sure, so­cial isolation and long hours just some of the causes of stress and de­pres­sion.

“Farm­ing is a tough busi­ness and while Aus­tralian farm­ers are known for their re­silience, this doesn’t mean that people don’t feel the im­pact of a string of bad sea­sons, or even the stresses of ev­ery­day life,” he said.

Mr Healy has proven his own re­silience, hav­ing al­ready shed al­most 20 kilo­grams and fit­ting in at least a 20 kilo­me­tre walk most week­ends.

With just four months to go, he has now reg­is­tered for his first marathon.

To help Bruce raise funds for be­yond­blue, visit www. give.ev­ery­day­hero.com/au/ bruce-healy or find Case IH Aus­tralia on Face­book and fol­low the link.

If you or some­one you know needs sup­port, learn how to tackle the prob­lem by call­ing the be­yond­blue sup­port line on 1300 224 636 or vis­it­ing be­yond­blue.org.au.

PER­SONAL STEPS: Case IH Aus­tralia’s brand leader, Bruce Healy, is tak­ing part in the New York City Marathon this year both as a per­sonal fit­ness chal­lenge, and to raise money for be­yond­blue.

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