“We all need to look after our mental health and wellbeing,” Jane Harris, Myrtle Park Produce

Grower and Freshcare participant Jane Harris, shares her story on the importance of mental health and wellbeing.

Freshcare spoke with Jane Harris who, alongside her husband, runs their farm Myrtle Park Produce in NSW Southern Riverina region. Freshcare Certified since 2015, their medium-sized, 500-acre farms produces watermelons, pumpkins and mixed cropping. Like many Australian growers, they’re faced with the ongoing pressures of regional living and farming. Accessing Freshcare’s free and anonymous mental health and wellbeing counselling services during some tough times has provided Jane, her family and their staff some welcomed support.

Harvest had started and we were well into the festive season. Pressure was running high with lots of commitments and competing demands. I noticed that I was getting more frustrated than normal, I was snapping at the kids and generally feeling a bit ‘fed up’ which is not my usual state. I called MyCoach and made an appointment.

After the first conversation I felt lighter and more in control. Just having the conversation, putting words to my state of mind, made all the difference. I could see more clearly what I needed to do and was able to put some things in place to re-balance my world.

As a small business owner, implementing our own Employee Assistance Program would not be feasible. By including access through our Freshcare Certification, we are able to provide an excellent employee benefit typically reserved for big corporates. I see enormous benefit in the program, particularly for rural and remote producers and growers. The immediate and online support available removes a barrier to accessing help.   

We all need to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Being a producer/grower has very unique challenges. We are often physically isolated on a farm, disconnected from other growers and producers. Weather is unpredictable, one event can wipe out an entire year of production. Pests and disease can be uncontrollable, rendering your produce unsalable. The list could go on! Having someone to support you through the tricky bits is essential to success. The world’s most elite athlete’s always have a coach travelling with them to help them succeed, Benestar provides that for growers.  

Find out more about this service for you, your family or staff HERE