This year’s R U OK? Day is a great opportunity to pause and check in with our broader network on how they’re tackling the sometimes tricky conversations that can unearth when someone is a little off their game, or overwhelmed by their current projects.

While this initiative reminds us of the importance of staying connected, it also contributes to suicide prevention efforts by encouraging people to be alert to those around them and have a conversation if they identify signs of distress or difficulty.

Having these conversations is all too relevant for the Australian Agriculture Industry where suicide rates among farmers is up to 94% higher than non-farmers and on average, one farmer dies by suicide every 10 days.

The National Farmer Wellbeing Report released earlier this year found that nearly half of Australian farmers (45%) have felt depressed, with almost two thirds (64%) experiencing anxiety – and for 1 in 7 (14%), it’s a frequent experience.

What was even more shocking was that 45% of Australian farmers have had thoughts of self-harm or suicide, while 30% have attempted self-harm or suicide.

The unique challenges faced by those in agriculture, including isolation, unpredictable weather conditions, and financial pressures, can take a toll on mental health. There can also be a cultural perception that farmers should be self-reliant and tough, which can discourage seeking help for mental health issues.

One of the barriers to addressing mental health concerns is the stigma that often surrounds it. At Agri Talent, we actively cultivate a culture of respect, empathy and open dialogue with our clients, candidates and each other. We are committed to creating a safe space for everyone to share their struggles without fear of judgement.

By normalising these conversations, and asking the question, “are you ok?” We all have the ability to start a conversation that could change a life. If you or someone you know needs help, we encourage you to contact:

Or call the Farmer Assistance Hotline on 13 23 16 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time).