It’s no secret that our rural farmers are doing it tough. Besides dealing with the hardship of business due to natural disasters like fire, flood, and drought; the extreme isolation that is an everyday reality for many farmers and their families can take an additional toll on their emotional and mental health. According to an article by the ABC, suicide rates are consistently 40 percent higher in rural areas than the rates in metropolitan areas, and 50 percent less money is spent on mental health services in rural and remote Australia.
As Australia’s largest SkyMuster internet service provider, many Activ8me customers are placed in rural and regional Australia. When we were contacted by Thirsty Cow, a charity that focuses on providing relief to Australian farmers who are suffering financial or other distress, it was a no-brainer for us to support their efforts in giving back to the community that supports us.
Thirsty Cow has been helping farmers since 2008, and their mission statement is as follows:
“To provide continued and sustained relief to Australian farmers, graziers, and their families suffering financial or other distress (because of serious misfortune, helplessness, exhaustion or illness) arising from the effects of natural disasters such as severe drought, floor and bushfire and their resulting hardships including loss of livelihood and unemployment.”
As well as providing financial relief for farmers, Thirsty Cow plan to run education and training programs that help rural Australians. These online training programs help with both upskilling for their existing farming business, as well as vocational training targeted at supporting the wellness of farmers and their family’s wellbeing. Since the stigma of mental illness and the long distances that remote Australians need to travel in order to receive support are barriers to receiving care in the bush, these skills are incredibly important in achieving better mental and emotional health for farmers and their families.
Activ8me are proud to work with Thirsty Cow in helping Australian farmers and their families. In addition to a cash donation, Activ8me are donating a percentage from new signups to Thirsty Cow to aid their efforts in helping Aussie farmers. If you’d like to donate to Thirsty Cow, you can do so here.
Read about how the NBN is bringing down the cost of rural healthcare