The reaction and recovery to trauma on a farm

Farm life can be tough. Farmers may experience financial, environmental and work related risks and challenges that can affect their physical or mental health and well-being, and may last short or long term.

Reactions to each situation vary and can occur immediately after a traumatizing event or not develop until much further down the road.

These kind of reactions to trauma are completely normal and are part of the body’s healing and recovery process.

Some reactions to trauma you may experience include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Lack of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Forgetfulness
  • Guilt
  • Depression
  • Anger

Although these reactions are normal, it’s important to recognise when bodies are pushed to their limits. A stress overload or prolonged symptoms of a trauma reaction may be a signal that you need time out.

What you can do if you’re having a stress overload or prolonged symptoms as mentioned above:

  • Talk to your family and friends
  • Speak to your doctor
  • Look online for more information

Suicide

If you feel suicidal, call for help immediately. Speak to your doctor, friends or family, or one of the 24 hour helplines listed:

  • Beyond Blue 24-hour help line: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14

Organisations that can help

  • Mental health line 1800 011 511
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Domestic Violence Line 1800 656 463
  • Mensline Australia 1300 789 978
  • Kids help line 1800 551 800
  • Beyond Blue 24 hour help line 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • NSW Rural Mental Health Support Line 1800 201 123

Resources

  • National Centre for Farmer Health helps provide information to farmers that can make a difference in their lives, including information on trauma reactions and recovery
  • Alive and Well provides further information on depression and other mental health information including useful checklists