Raising the awareness of mental health
It is time to look out for our men and women on land
IT’S ONLY in its infancy but Karen Betts would like to issue the challenge to the North Burnett communities to become involved in raising the awareness of depression and suicide by knitting a “blue” farmer.
The Mt Perry resident got goosebumps when she read the story about a Tasmanian woman Grietje Van Randen of Deloraine who knitted a big blue farmer from recycled blue baling twine.
Mrs Betts said her partner’s family had struggled with depression and suicide over four generations.
“We all need to look out for each other,” she said.
“The farmer is the backbone of our country and has been since day dot.
“They are the salt of the earth.”
Mrs Betts said in her line of work she sees a lot of depression
“Farmers are stoic, they don’t ask for help,” she said.
“We have to remember here in the North Burnett we live in a rural setting. “Isolation is a big problem “Some farmers can go weeks without seeing someone.”
Councillor John Bowen has also jumped on the bandwagon and is taking the idea to the next council meeting.
The idea is to have collection points to gather up recycled baling twine from farms in all of the North Burnett towns.
Mrs Betts said when we have that covered we can organise our knitters in our towns.
“We are only limited by your imagination in what we knit,” she said.
“Why stop at doing a farmer?
“Why not a whole family sitting under a tree sharing a cuppa.
“Or the woman could be wearing a pink shirt for breast cancer.”
Mrs Betts said the region could even have a competition at the annual shows.
She said what Grietje Van Randen found when her group’s hands were busy knitting the women opened up about life’s stresses.
“They spoke about things they had never shared with anyone,” she said.
CREATE A FARMER: North Burnett residents are being encouraged to take up the challenge of creating a farmer out of recycled baling twine.
Mt Perry's Karen Betts.