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Photo by Darren Chester at Giffard, off the South Gippsland Highway.

Farmers' Friend

Farmers' Friend

Photo by Darren Chester at Giffard, off the South Gippsland Highway.

Someone to talk to who understands farming pressures

A friendly ear is available for farmers under pressure in Central and East Gippsland due to drought or other challenges.

A new service called Farmers' Friend was the idea of Brad Missen who recently moved away from dairy farming at Denison.

"Having another ear who can see things a little more clearly when you're not actually part of it, can really help make better decisions," Mr Missen said.

"Get it off your chest... feel like you've achieved something because you've had a five minute conversation."

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Brad brought the idea to Lifeline Gippsland.

CEO Michelle Possingham said they sought funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, to add to their own resources.

"We do know that it's harder for farmers sometimes to reach out for that support," Ms Possingham said.

"They might be busy with just keeping the farm going.

"And there's people who think reaching out for help is a sign of weakness, when in fact it can actually take a lot of bravery to reach out and say 'I'm doing it tough and I could do with some help.'"

Farmers' Friends are people who have been involved in farming over many years, who know how to listen and can help people tap into simple strategies to reduce stress.

For 24/7 crisis support, call Lifeline Gippsland on 13 11 14.

A Farmers' Friend support officer is available on 5136 3500.

For financial support and advice, call Rural Financial Counselling Victoria - Gippland on 1300 045 747.

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