NAB funds farmer well-being initiative – Dr Kate Fennell

The Centre congratulates Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist Kate Fennell on being awarded a $100,000 grant from The National Australia Bank (NAB) Foundation for the development of an initiative that aims to support farmer mental health and well-being.

Kate is undertaking this project at the Samson Institute, University of South Australia (UniSA).  The project is a collaboration between UniSA, the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health (FFCMH) which is a financial partner and the National Centre for Farmer Health in Victoria.  The Co-investigators are Professor Deborah Turnbull and Dr Andrew Vincent (FFCMH, Uni of Adelaide)A/Professor James Dollman (UniSA) and A/Professor Susan Brumby from the NCFH.

Kate’s project was one of the 10 selected from a pool of 450 applicants to NAB’s Stronger Minds grant scheme.  The project “Preparing Australian farmers for future challenges via an online, interactive Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based program”  is a product of Kate’s Honours work and more recently, further interrogation of her data by FFCMH summer vacation student Mr Luke Bamford, supervised by Kate, Andrew, James and Deb in 2015/16.   They found that  farmers who cope most successfully with drought conditions are those who adopt ‘acceptance’ (and humor) as a coping strategies. This makes a lot of sense, given that many of the stressors farmers are exposed to things are beyond their control such as the weather, commodity prices etc.

Kate was also privileged to receive a Trevor Prescott Memorial Scholarship, supporting youth in their endeavours, from the Freemasons Foundation in October 2016, worth $18,000.  This additional money will allow Kate to employ a research assistant for an additional day each week to work on the important project.

The Centre also congratulates our 2015-16 summer vacation student Alison Barrett (Public Health) and 2014-15 summer vacation and 2015 Honours scholarship student, Mr Nathan Harrison (Psychology – Farmer preventative health) on being appointed to two part-time research assistant positions for the NAB project.

Further information about the initiative is provided her –  InDaily article dated 21 July 2016 and UniSA press release.

We look forward to hearing about the progress of this important program.


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