R U OK Day is back for another year and is serving as a firm reminder of the mental health struggles facing farmers everyday.
The legends at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand are commemorating the occasion with special mental health training for all rural and regional accountants to assist drought affected farmers.
Unfortunately, research from the Royal College of General Practitioners reflects people in rural and regional areas, predominantly men, are twice as likely to take their own lives than those living in large metro areas.
According to the National Rural Health Alliance and Lifeline, there is a noticeable lack of access to adequate mental health services for those living regionally and rurally.
CA ANZ Segment Support Manager Catherine Kennedy says the training is helping accountants who might find themselves offering more than just financial advice.
"The clear message we've had from our members, particularly in regional and rural areas, is that there is a clear link between financial distress and mental health issues,"
- Catherine Kennedy
Rural accountant Andy Freeman says he often sees his clients at their worst and is happy to be able to offer something more than just financial advice.
"We see our clients in their most difficult times; I have to wear many hats. Particularly through the periods of drought, we see clients at the ragged edge of their financial situations,”
- Andy Freeman
The team at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand are doing all they can to offer extra assistance to rural and regional community and we are ALL about it. If you're looking for some mental health advice, follow the link through to the website for more information.