www.ifarmwell.com.au is a free, farmer-driven self-help program, designed to improve Australian farmers’ mental well-being and equip them to better cope with things beyond their control such as drought. The development of the website has been led by FFCMH member Dr Kate Gunn from the University of South Australia with the research and development team including FFCMH members Prof Deborah Turnbull, Dr Camille Short and Dr Andrew Vincent. The content is based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and delivered using language, examples and a format that Australian farmers have suggested and/or endorsed. ifarmwell is a funded collaboration involving the NAB Foundation, the Freemasons Foundation, the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia, Livestock SA, and the National Centre for Farmer Health.
We are pleased to announce that ifarmwell is now entering Phase II, following completion of its evaluation by Australian farmers throughout 2018. Now with funding from Rural Business Support (RBS), matched by the University of South Australia, Dr Gunn and the ifarmwell development team will be adjusting the web-based tool so that it offers greater benefit to users, in terms of supporting the mental health and well being of Farmers doing it tough.
The team are also now going to explore rural financial counsellors’ experiences with interacting with distressed farmers across Australia, and use this information to optimise the methods by which the counsellors link farmers to psychological supports such as ifarmwell, within their existing roles.