A new online module from the University of South Australia aims to support farmers’ romantic relationships and mental health.

Story Kate Newsome  Photo courtesy iFarmwell

Launched in March, a new online module for the ifarmwell website is specifically designed to help farmers build healthy relationships. It’s been created by University of South Australia health experts and farmers determined to support others. 

“When you live on a farm and in a small community, romantic relationships can feel intense, in a way that might not happen for people living in the city,” says research fellow Dr Chloe Fletcher from ifarmwell. “Looking after your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your relationship is really important, not only for yourself as a farmer, but it’s also really important for the wellbeing of your farm, especially when your romantic partner is also your business partner.”

Taking 30–60 minutes to complete, the free module provides strategies to improve and maintain relationships on farms. It was codesigned with farmers to be relatable, accessible and down to earth. Through cartoons and easy-to-read explainers, the module prompts written reflections, suggests conversation starters, stress and conflict management strategies and outlines how to recognise your own and your partner’s ‘love language’, whether it’s words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, gifts or acts of service.

This story excerpt is from Issue #155

Outback Magazine: June/July 2024