Agricultural company heads up mental health fundraiser

Agricultural company heads up mental health fundraiser

Two Mount Gambier men from a local agricultural company raised over $2500 for a national cause last week.

Nutrien Mount Gambier stock agent Cody Benson and merchandise manager Girald Williams had their heads shaved for Do it For Dolly Day on Friday.

The funds raised will be donated to Dolly’s Dream which was started by Tick and Kat Everett who lost their 14-year-old daughter Amy Jayne “Dolly” Everett to suicide in the Northern Territory in 2018 following ongoing bullying and harassment.

Mr Benson had his head shaved on Friday morning at the Mount Gambier and District Saleyards while Mr Williams opted to do it at the Nutrien Mount Gambier office later in the afternoon.

Mr Benson said he feels strongly about the cause because he is passionate about preventing unnecessary deaths due to suicide.

“Wrong time of year definitely to be doing it but it does not matter, it is for a good cause and I can do that to help those who are going through other things,” he said.

“I just remember when it happened it was just a bit of a shock to everyone especially in the industry of agriculture.

“It should not have happened. Dolly should not have felt the way she did and needed to do what she did.

“It is good that everyone is getting behind the cause too because it is a very important cause to prevent anything happening like what Dolly went through as well as bullying and harassment prevention and giving people the support they need.”

Mr Benson said he wants to help end the mental health stigma that exists within agriculture especially with males in the industry.

“Agriculture has always been a big one with mental health, we go through the ups and downs with price rises and changes and people invest a lot of money into businesses and they do not necessarily always make it back,” he said.

“There is always unforeseen things they cannot control such as weather, that’s the biggest thing.

“At the moment down here, we’re dry but you go further inland and to different places around Australia and whether it is droughts or floods, it is always hardship in some form or another around Australia and that does reflect on the farmer’s mental health.

“There has been plenty of cases where farmers have taken their own lives unfortunately. If people can get that support and can talk about things and if there needs to be funding behind it (which we are raising money for to get people out there to help support them) then that’s what we need to do.

“We need to band together and make sure these occurrences and these fatalities from people taking their lives, that number drops and hopefully eradicate that number and then we do not have that issue.”

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