ifarmwell podcast launches to help farmers find positive strategies

ifarmwell founder Dr Kate Gunn (right) with South Australian farmer Kym Fromm, who features in the new ifarmwell podcast series. Photo: Supplied.
ifarmwell founder Dr Kate Gunn (right) with South Australian farmer Kym Fromm, who features in the new ifarmwell podcast series. Photo: Supplied.

Farmers in western NSW will have a better understanding on how to reduce the impact negative situations in their lives thanks to a newly launched podcast.

The ifarmwell podcast was launched on July, 13 and features eight episodes that provide strategies to effectively manage challenges to get the most out of every day.

The program was created by clinical psychologist Dr Kate Gunn, who first became interested in farmers wellbeing thanks to her own lived experiences of rural life after growing up on a farm 650 kilometres west of Adelaide.

The podcast is a feature of the ifarmwell website which Dr Gunn developed a few years ago, adding that it was created to give farmers practical strategies on issues that are beyond their control.

"There are a lot of people in rural areas who could benefit from some tips on how to improve their wellbeing but often accessing mental health services is difficult and in some cases not necessary," Dr Gunn explained.

Dr Gunn said farmers are very good problem solvers who are good at fixing things in their every day life, but it's when they feel like they can't solve an issue that it becomes challenging for them.

According to the clinical psychologist the website has been really successful for farmers wellbeing, which is one of the reasons why they decided to launch the podcast version.

"It's designed so that farmers who are not sitting in front of a computer can just hit play on their phone and listen to some of the same type of strategies they would be able to on the website," Dr Gunn said.

She hopes that farmers are able to learn multiple strategies to get a better perspective on their thoughts.

"A lot of us spend time worrying about things that never actually happen and waste a lot of energy doing that, so what this podcast does is help people work out where their mind tends to go... whether or not that's helpful to focus on and then how to shift their attention away from unhelpful stuff," Dr Gunn explained.'

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"To the things that are going to make their life better, such as family, or fixing something on the farm..."

The episodes also feature the voices of farmers across Australia who have used ifarmwell and incorporated the strategies into their lives.

The clinical psychologist said there was real value for farmers hearing from those in a similar situation to them.

"It can be a great relief to people. Everyone's mind says nasty things to them but we tend to think it's only us who feels that way which isn't true. Hopefully this (podcast) helps to demystify that," Dr Gunn said.

She said what makes farmers so unique is there are so many things beyond their control so benefit from a range of strategies.

"They also often spend a lot of time on their own so have time to get stuck in their own head. If they can notice that, get distance from it and shift their attention to something else, it's a really good thing to be able to do," Dr Gunn said.

The podcast can be accessed by searching "ifarmwell" in Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Soundcloud, or via ifarmwell.com.au.

This story New podcast aims to help farmers find positive strategies first appeared on Western Magazine.