A young voice on the topic of rural depression

By Sally Bryant ABC RURAL

As the eastern states move deeper into drought, as the Federal Government considers its options for drought support, and state governments are forced to expand assistance packages, the issue of rural mental health is once again on the agenda.

But one young farmer, writer and rural commentator says he thinks the issue needs to be uppermost in people's minds all the time, not just during times of disaster or high stress.

Sam Trethewey comes from a strong farming family, he loves his farming life and he intends to continue to pursue it.

However he acknowledges that as a way of life for someone who has battled with depression, farming can be pretty tricky.

"You think about how much time farmers spend working by themselves; it can be a pretty solitary existence for much of the time.

"I know myself, I'll be working away by myself for hours and then my boss will call in to see me, and suddenly I'll notice that my energy levels go up, my mood improves - just because I've had that interaction, that feedback."

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