Mother Nature was my business partner and she dealt some cruel blows says mental health advocate Warren Davies

By , 17/12/2018 16:21


Warren ‘the unbreakable farmer’ speaking at the Darling Downs Cotton Grower of the Year field day at Burradoo Plains, Chinchilla. Picture: Helen Walker

Resilience, persistence and determination are the three words thatdescribe Victorian mental health advocate, and professional speaker, Warren Davies.

Warren,who speaks under the banner ‘the unbreakable farmer’, recently addresseda group of farmers on the Darling Downs to highlight the importance of mental health issuesbytelling his own compelling story ofa failed suicide attempt.

Born and bred in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, it was in 1982, when Warren and his family made the massive decision to move to the country and pursue his father’s dream of becoming a farmer.

This gave Warren an opportunity to reinvent himself –adirection, a career path andhe was going to be a dairy farmer!

Mentored by one of the best farmers in the district, he honed his skills and, by the age of 22, Warrenhad purchased his first farm.

Warren said the harsh reality of being a farmer soon became evident: high interest rates, low commodity prices, flood and drought; all having an impact. Most significantly it took itstollon his mental health.

And thisbuilt up over time with Warren one night makinga snap decision tocommitsuicide in the dairy after finishing milking.

In Warren’s instance, the rope snapped and the bucket he was standing on slipped, and his life flashed before his eyesas he lay winded on the floor and unharmed.

He gained his composure and walked home determined to seek help.

It wasthree years before he finally confessed to his wife what he actually tried to do that night;he sought much needed medical help and treatment the following day.

These events all tested his resilience, persistence and determination and had a massive impact on his young family, relationships and finances all culminating with the decision to basically having to walk off the farm.

“It really was my low self esteem that lead to anxiety and depression,” Warren said.

“And to this day Istill deal with anxiety, but Ijust know how to manageit.”

Warren said all farmers need to know the signs of any form of mental illness, and if concerned for others, should know how to approach someone to ask the opened ended question of ‘are you alright’ and refer professional help.

“Communication is the key –and it can save a life,” he said.

Although with his skillswork Warren found a positionmanaging large scale dairy operations from Victoria to South , it wasn’t the same.

He couldn’t settle, he assumed that he had lost his identity because not only was the farm his career, it was his home, his life! In his eyes he had failed and carried the guilt of failing as a husband and father.

“At the end of the day I had to realise businessescome and go, and it is family who stay.”

These days Warren spendshis time as a professional speaker and his website can be accessed at: www.theunbreakablefarmer老域名出售.au

If you or someone you know needs help, contactLifeline on13 11 14.

Queensland Country Life

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