Campfire – Connecting farmers to prevent workplace mental health risks

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The National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) is excited that the innovative new chat-based platform ‘Campfire’ has now been up and running for 3 months. During this time they have engaged with over 100 registered participants across a wide range of agricultural industries in Victoria, with more reached through blogs, podcasts and social media messaging.

Campfire is a web-based messaging platform where, after creating a free account, farmers can join in the group chat. Access is available on computer, tablet or mobile phone. The program brings farmers together in a relaxed environment where people with shared interests can get together, listen to experts and peers, ask questions and pose solutions. It helps farmers to improve the way they work in order to better manage the demands and challenges of primary production, and to develop mentally healthy workplaces for farm owners, managers, workers and their families.

Bonfire events have attracted the most participation so far. These are held fortnightly on the Campfire platform on Wednesday evenings (from 7.30pm) where farmers can hear from topic experts and participate in live Q&A. On the Campfire home page, participants can submit questions ahead of time, which will be answered by the experts on the night. Keep your eye on the NCFH Facebook and Instagram pages about how to lodge your questions in advance or visit the Campfire page to leave your questions.

On alternate Wednesday evenings, farmers can join smaller Campfire Q&A discussions on work-related challenges relevant to them, including the topic of the previous week’s Bonfire.

The Campfire web page is home to resources which have been developed from the topics discussed in previous sessions. These include podcasts, blogs and the link to access the Campfire platform. You can log in and view past conversations at any time. Some of the recent content which has been covered includes:

  • Working effectively in a family business
  • Making your business more resilient to environmental extremes
  • Strengthening your support team: farming safety consultants
  • Strengthening Your Support Team – AgriSafe
  • New to Farming: Learning from Experience
  • Communication: it’s more than words
  • Planning for Success(ion)
  • Strengthening Your Support Team – Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • Supporting the Next Generation of Farmers

Register today to join the conversation, receive information about upcoming events and access topic blogs and podcasts.

Upcoming Bonfire Topics:

  • 6 Oct       Strengthen your support team – Seasonal/contract labour
  • 20 Oct     Strengthen your support team – Working Dogs with Kellie Barnes
  • TBA         Strategies for decision making
  • TBA         Staying socially connected
  • TBA         Managing fatigue

What other resources does the National Centre for Farmer Health have for young farmers?

Steering Straight – stand alone is a tool to help farmers keep on track with their health and wellbeing. This resource can help you achieve your future goals and know who to call on for support when tackling a challenge. It takes about 15-30 minutes to complete and can assist in goal setting to have a plan on how to best support yourself and your business.

Farmer HAT | National Centre for Farmer Health is a free online self assessment tool which has been developed to promote safe farming culture and healthy personal behaviours. This resource helps to identify health, wellbeing and safety risks on the farm. It takes 10-15 minutes to complete the assessment. It guides you through a series of questions relating to your health, wellbeing, lifestyle behaviours and farm safety practices, provides instant feedback, and directs you to relevant and helpful resources.

Further Information

Further information about the National Centre for Farmer Health and what programs they have available can be found on their website.

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