HELP for farmers in the New England has arrived with a new Rural Aid counsellor setting up shop in Tamworth.
Lisa-Marie Windmill hit the ground running this week and was keen to let people know there’s more to her work than just face-to-face counselling.
“Whether it is counselling, whether it is fodder, whether it is someone to come and help them on the farm, these are all programs Rural Aid offer,” she said.
Ms Windmill, a registered Australian Counselling Association member, has lived in the region for about 10 years and said she couldn’t “think of a better cause to be involved in”.
While more than $1 billion has been released from various levels of government for drought support, Ms Windmill said simply talking had a huge value as well.
“A lot of farmers are extremely proud people,” she said.
“Now they are not only suffering with the drought that is affecting their actual farm practices, many of them are quite isolated and with the effect of the drought they can suffer mentally and need someone to help them get mentally back on top.
“They need to be well in order to be well for their families, be well for their business and help get through this very difficult personal situation.”
Her books are virtually open and she said all requests for assistance would be dealt as urgently as possible.
“Our priority is to be as instantaneous as we can, particularly with the mental health, but everything is very urgent,” she said.
Ms Windmill’s patch will cover areas between Scone and Guyra and people looking for assistance can get in touch via ruralaid.org.au or over the phone at 0408 062 734 or 1300 327 624.