Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stress and Safety - VINTAGE A TIMELY REMINDER

This week I met with the Hon. Terry Stephens MLC and the Hon. John Dawkins MLC to look at future mental health programmes that could be run to help our community. This is a timely reminder that we need to look after ourselves and our friends and family through vintage.

Harvest by Ben Heide.
Grape vintage is a high of high stress which, allied with other factors like a lack of sleep, places all of our industry at risk of accidents and mental health issues including depression.

We maintain our vineyards and our machinery to limit the risks of accidents. Like a machine that is working all day and night we also need to maintain our mental health and the health of those around us.

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. Keep in mind the pressures that yourself, your family and your friends are under, it is natural for our mental health to suffer, there is no shame or blame it that.

Look for changes in behavior. Is someone you know not themselves lately?

It's not always easy to help someone who may be experiencing depression. It can be hard to know what to say or do.

When you feel concern for a friend you think may be depressed, encourage them gently to talk about how they feel. Listen patiently: sometimes, when somebody needs to talk, they might not seek advice, but just feel like talking it through. Sometimes they may be vague about their concerns.

McLaren Vale is a beautiful region made so by our people.
Gentle open-ended questions like "So tell me about...?", open the door for an answer bigger than 'yes' or 'no'. This is often a good way to start a conversation. If conversation becomes difficult or your friend gets angry, stay calm, be firm, fair and consistent and don't lose control.

Simply spending time with a depressed friend lets them know someone cares and understands them. Encourage them to seek professional help from their family doctor or at least get online and look at information themselves.

As an industry, a community, and as individuals, we need to 'walk the walk.' Actions speak louder than words. So please look after your mates. Make a call. Go visit.

Website –

Beyond Blue Website: The national depression initiative.

Hotline - 1300 22 46 36

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