Cotton Farmer and mental/physical health advocate on R U OK Day

Southern NSW cotton farmer Joe Briggs has marked R U OK day by calling on farmers to reach out for help if they are struggling, rather than suffering in silence.

R U OK? Day was yesterday (Thursday the 14th of September) but the charity operates year-round to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and start a conversation with those in their world who may be struggling with life.

Joe Briggs has spoken publicly about his own struggles through tough times and the journey that led him to discover that exercise could provide a spark in his own life.

Joe got involved with the group Active Farmers and signed himself up for a charity bike ride. The challenge took his mind off the drought and helped improve his mental health.

Along with his involvement in Active Farmers as a Board member, he is now the president of the Coleambally Community Gym – a facility built almost eight years ago to serve the local area and help get farmers off the tractor and onto the treadmill.

β€œIt’s a positive, healthy setting where you can really create a positive headspace,” Joe said.

Joe said organisations Active Farmers and R U OK? are great because they encourage people to be alert to the needs of others and be aware of signs of distress - and also when to suggest professional support.

If you or anyone you know needs support, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.