ASK FOR SUPPORT: Rural Aid counsellor Jane McCollum wants to let primary producers know that it's okay to admit it when the chips are down and you need some support. Picture: Rural Aid
ASK FOR SUPPORT: Rural Aid counsellor Jane McCollum wants to let primary producers know that it's okay to admit it when the chips are down and you need some support. Picture: Rural Aid

Rural Aid helping primary producers when ‘chips are down’

WITH Mental Health Month drawing to a close today, one of Australia’s largest regional charities are reaching out to those in the agricultural community doing it tough this year.

Rural Aid counsellor Jane McCollum says she’d like to let primary producers know that it’s okay to admit it when the chips are down, and you need some support.

“At any given time in anyone’s life we all need support in some way,” she said.

“Talk to a friend or family member you can trust and connect with a counsellor if you need to chat with someone outside your personal community.

“It is brave to say ‘I need some support’ or even to reach out to someone who you can see may need your support.”

Ms McCollum covers the Toowoomba Region, Southern Downs and parts of Western Downs in South East Queensland for Rural Aid.

She does it because everyone deserves to be heard in hard times.

“I am a Rural Aid counsellor as I believe all humankind deserves to be supported and assisted in difficult times,” Ms McCollum said.

“Rural people are having a particularly difficult journey as they navigate through crucial issues such as drought, social changes, an increasing technological world that can often leave rural people feeling fearful and overwhelmed.

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“My job involves calling and visiting primary producers and offering support whether that be counselling or assisting with understanding forms and accessing financial support.

“I also attend inter agency meetings and network with various stakeholders who I believe can assist in facing the overall challenges we are seeing our primary producers face.”

Outside of helping farmers individually, Ms McCollum can be found at fodder deliveries, community events and recovery projects, helping towns and communities build stronger futures.

“We are constantly connecting with rural people,” she said.

“This role is incredibly diverse and covers many different aspects of assistance to rural people.”

If you’re experiencing hardship, or know anyone that might need a helping hand, head to Rural Aid’s website here.


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