A kid teaches us about looking out for mates

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Farmers across New South Wales and Queensland are facing significant financial and personal hardship as parts of Australia mark seven years in drought. Many are calling this “the worst drought in living memory”.


Australian farmers are no strangers to drought, ours is the driest continent on Earth (apart from Antarctica), and the struggles of living on the land have been immortalised in the words of our great bush poets and, most recently, by Jack Berne, a 10-year-old Sydney schoolboy and the driving force behind a new fundraising campaign called A fiver for a farmer.


Imagine if we all looked out for each other


We can all learn something from Jack’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of struggling farmers; imagine if we all looked out for each other.


With statistics showing that 1 in 5 Australians live with mental health concerns, chances are that someone you work with, one of your friends, or someone in your family is living with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, an eating disorder, a substance abuse disorder or another common mental health condition.


Data also shows that only 1 in 3 people with a mental health concern seek medical help. This means that many Australians are going without the support they need.


What we can learn from Jack


We all face difficult times and often we can get through these challenges with the care and support of those closest to us. Just as it took imagination and courage for Jack to stand up and offer to help, we can do the same for those close to us who are living with mental health challenges.


Perhaps you have noticed that a friend, family member or work colleague is experiencing a tough time. Asking “Are you OK?” is a caring and engaging way of checking in on their health and offering a helping hand.


For ideas on looking after your own mental health and reaching out to support others, please read our September Tip Sheet Checking In On Mental Health.


If you need support, call the Converge International Employee Assistance Program on 1300 OUR EAP (1300 687 327). In a medical emergency always call the Ambulance by dialling 000.


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