Farmers in the Gippsland region are being encouraged to tap into counselling and support services being made available as part of the Victorian Government’s $1.5 million assistance package.

Victoria has more than 4000 dairy farms and local Eastern Victoria Region member Harriet Shing urges farmers to contact local mental health providers and seek support.

The funding means that $800,000 has been allocated to support the health and wellbeing of farmers, including counselling services. Support programs will also be developed in consultation with farmers.

There will also be an expansion of phone based support to extend capacity; provision for up to 30 additional mental health first aid sessions in priority locations, expansion of the Look over the Farm Gate program and funding coordination in up to 23 local government areas to drive easy access to support and develop area specific information and advice.

The $1.5 million package complements the recent Victorian Government and dairy industry announcement of $11.4 million in assistance to support farmers who are currently experiencing particularly difficult times.

For information on the package and support available visit: or call 136 186.

Help for dairy farmers and their families is available via Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Harriet Shing:

“Gippsland’s dairy farmers are doing it really tough – the milk price drop in the industry has created huge levels of stress and uncertainty for farmers, their families and their communities.

“In tackling these challenges, it’s crucial that the right health services are available so that people can get assistance when they need it and where they need it.”

“Maintaining good mental health and wellbeing is particularly important in such difficult times – and the right mental health support can make a world of difference.”