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Our Background

Mustering Wellness started as a response from the Cattlemen's industry in Northern Australia, in relation to issues relating to wellness, health and mental health.

The projects objective was primarily to assist the Gulf Cattlemen’s Association (GCA) to develop and promote an extensive resource for people whom live in a rural and remote area to access information and support despite significant barriers that will enhance and enable social and emotional wellbeing for themselves and the support of others whilst reducing stigma and building community capacity for the longer term. This website will be developed based on community identified needs and tailored specifically to the region and the mental wellness. Due to the feedback received from community members and service providers in the shire there is an identified need for information and resources that are easily accessible and break down barriers to stigma and remote location with limited services.

Development of this mental wellness resource is interactive, personalised, relevant to industry, geographic and demographics, accessible, has longevity, builds capacity in individuals, families and community, reduces stigma, encourages people who may also have a severe and persistent mental illness to seek information and support, respects privacy of people whom live in remote and rural areas, owned and managed by community, crosses gender, age and cultural and ultimately encourages people to begin to discuss their mental health, create networks and feel safe in seeking support without fear of judgement.

Although there are some mental health support services in the region, due to their limited nature and community member’s self- reported wariness of being able to seek support confidentially, the information is not fully utilised.

An example of this was received from a Government Worker in Georgetown who stated:
“People aren’t going to park their car out the front of the Clinic cause everyone in town’ll know that they’re there to see the Psych, cause it’s not the Doctor’s visit day”. Another response was “You can’t admit there something wrong cause then other business people might not want to deal with you cause they’ll be thinking you’re risky financially or your gonna go broke”.

Feedback from Croydon Shire:

“No way I’d get any tablets to help with depression or anything, the script goes through the store (grocery store) so everyone knows what you’re getting, (shop attendant) tells everyone what people are getting and then you’ve gotta come in and pick it (medication) up with everyone there watching”.

However despite significant hardships the people of these Shires have demonstrated a willingness and resilience regards their support of each other and a motivation to improve their situation despite their inability to control the weather. This can be evidenced in their innovative thinking such as:

- hosting a financial management seminar with a finance professional for all of community;
- seeking research and collaborating with resource management groups and cattle professionals to best use and preserve the resources they have;
- Industry leaders traveling to Canberra to address Government regards the possible demise of the sector without support from Government; approaching the financial institutions to seek interest rate decreases; and
- aligning themselves with committed people of influence within Government, Local, State and Federal to seek support for the industry voices to be heard and supported.

Mustering Wellness will provide a resource, wanted by community, for community and owned by community whilst promoting wellness, communication and natural support of each other.

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