A grant from the NSW Government will deliver psychology and counselling services for people on the land at the Commonwealth Agquip Field Days next week.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson welcomed the announcement after making strong representations to the Deputy Premier John Barilaro for the funding.

“We understand the critical importance of providing mental health support for rural and regional people in this unprecedented drought.

“We will have a psychologist provided by the Centacare New England North West team at The Nationals’ stand J24 on all three days of Agquip.

“Having a person with these skills means we can deliver ‘walk-in’ or ‘without referral’ psychology and counselling services to visitors to the site,” Mr Anderson said.

Centacare New England North West’s Chief Executive Officer, Fergus Fitzsimons thanked Member for Kevin Anderson for the Agquip opportunity.

“This is a great initiative to provide a soft or walk in service to our local communities during Agquip with follow-up contact from our psychologists if they request it,” Mr Fitzsimons said

“It gives our farming communities at Agquip another avenue to access counselling services. Some may not want to talk on the day, some may not want to talk on the day, but our staff will do the follow-up and work out what is the best service we can provide to them in the future.”

Mr Anderson said he spoke on a daily basis with farmers, their families and small business owners about their concerns and the challenges they face.

“It’s really important we look after our people and them with their resilience and wellbeing.

“They really need to know that being looked after and cared for – they need to know they are not alone or feeling isolated.

“This week in Parliament I spoke on the need to acknowledge the difficulties facing farming communities across the state.

“I am delighted that we can provide a service where visitors to the site can drop in and talk one-on-one with a psychologist without having to provide a referral,” Mr Anderson concluded.

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