Fiona Simson Zoo Nov2015

 Vice President of the National Farmers Federationand Keynote speaker Fiona Simson speaking at the Symposium

Health professionals, researchers, and people who work in farming, mining and quarrying industries came together to explore the mental health needs and solutions at a special Symposium held recently at Dubbo Zoo.

Director of the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH), Professor David Perkins says the purpose of the Symposium was to exchange ideas on the mental health needs of workers and the rural and remote communities in which industries operate.

“By bringing industry representatives together with researchers, academics and policy makers we hope to establish some key priority areas for applied research and strategic action.

“We have a strong representation from the farming, mining and quarrying sectors in particular where we know mental health services and support are needed.

“Rural communities face hardships such as drought, flood and fire as well as economic problems such as falling commodity prices. At times they are under a great deal of stress and we need to understand and cater for their needs” said Professor Perkins. 

Vice President of the National Farmers Federation and keynote speaker, Fiona Simson lead a discussion on Farmers, Families and Mental Health as well as a Question and Answer session.

Other speakers include: General Practitioner from NSW Outback Division of GPs, Deon Heyns, WorkCover Authority Nissa Holliday andAspen Medical Chair of the Centre for Resources, Health and Safety,University of Newcastle, Brian Kelly. Executive Manager CRRMH Trevor Hazel also presented on RAMHP and Fiona Livingstone presented on the Farm-Link program.

The Primary Industries and Mental Health 2015 Symposium is a joint collaboration between the UoNs Centre for Resources Health and Safety and the CRRMH kindly supported byNewcastle Institute for Energy and Resources(NIER) and Aspen Medical.