Page 8 - APN September 2017
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Another worthy take-home message at WAPPA’s industry day was delivered by veterinarian Chis Brennan of MSD Animal Health, who reminded pro- ducers of the importance of closely reading and accu- rately following all product labels, while also ensuring storage and handling was managed in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, without which product efficacy could be compromised.
Big guy, big message. Bruce Hunt of Zoetis is doing his bit for mental health.
Mentally challenging industry day
Results are based on typical progeny growth performance achieved using Primegro Genetics grown under a high health environment and fed using the Rivalea Nutritional Program.
A WAPPA wow mo- ment.
Well, who’d have thought?
But it did happen at the recent WA Pork Produc- ers Association annual industry day.
Having sat through an AGM, which was inter- esting enough as far as association AGMs go, I worked my way through morning tea (good), lunch (very good) and 10 speakers on various top- ics, some spruiking more stimulating subjects than others and some present- ers more presentable than others.
No surprises there.
It’s what you come to expect when you’ve been attending and covering such events for more dec- ades than you care to re- member.
Anyway, along came the day’s second-last sched- uled speaker, ‘Big Bruce Hunt’ from Zoetis.
Instead of spruiking the benefits of his company’s products, as was his right as a speaker and sponsor and as had largely been done by those who went before him, Bruce refresh- ingly began by spruiking the need for a bigger focus on tackling mental health and the frightening fact that the suicide rate in the ‘bush’ is about 50 percent higher than in major cities.
Staying on topic, albeit in a somewhat scary way, Bruce also revealed that while about eight Austral- ians commit suicide every day, rural Australians and veterinarians are over- represented.
With the room full of many rural dwellers and many vets, alarm bells were raised.
Apparently men in re- gional areas are on aver- age 1.4 times more likely
Cant Comment by BRENDON CANT
to end their life than their urban counterparts.
According to Georgie Harman, CEO of beyond- blue, a range of circum- stances specific to remote areas place rural Austral- ians at higher risk of self- harm, including greater vulnerability to weather events and economic change, isolation and loneliness, social stigma and stoicism and reduced access to support services.
This alarming real- ity prompted an ongo- ing partnership between big-hearted animal health company Zoetis and na- tional not-for-profit or- ganisation beyondblue.
In 2016, Zoetis donat- ed $100,000 to beyond- blue after collecting $5 from each sale of its cattle and sheep vaccines and drenches.
This year, Zoetis has stumped up again.
People can support the initiative by buying prod- ucts between August 1 and October 31, 2017 from its range of pig, cattle, sheep, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches available at rural resellers.
To simply make a do- nation to support beyond- blue, visit communitysupport
Money raised by Zoetis goes directly to the phone and online services at be- yondblue, which are an excellent way for people in the bush to get assis- tance.
All the services beyond- blue offers are free thanks
to the generous support of such companies.
With about three million Australians living with anxiety or depression and around 3000 taking their own lives each year (more than double the yearly na- tional road toll), the issue of mental health simply has to be addressed.
I’m informed by beyond- blue that timely diagnosis, support and treatment and ongoing management of a mental health condition in rural and remote areas is likely to occur later or not at all, resulting in an increased likelihood of self-harm and suicide.
This is unacceptable.
Online forums run by beyondblue bring together people affected by mental health conditions, includ- ing carers and friends, so they can talk to others in similar circumstances at any time.
In my view, one of the best places to start, espe- cially for men and boys, who I understand are less inclined to openly discuss their mental health chal- lenges, is to simply say to those you care about (and those you don’t!) “are you OK mate?”.
Although I’ve lived in the bush, including in some isolated places, I today live in Fremantle where I actively promote and support a local organ- isation, the Kai Eardley Fund, which is all about creating positive change for the mental health of today’s youth, especially boys.
Tragically, Kai Eardley, a 20-year-old East Fre- mantle boy with a lot to live for, ended his life in July 2016 after struggling with anxiety and depres- sion.
His loving family, driven by mum Claire, created the fund in association with the Fremantle Foun- dation.
With suicide apparently now the biggest killer of men aged between 19 and 45, it’s time to ‘man-up’ about this issue and the Kai Eardley Fund is about just that.
Every ‘Kai Fella’ T-shirt sold will fund one boy’s attendance at the two- hour interactive ‘Man Up’ workshops.
To donate or learn more, visit
Page 8 – Australian Pork Newspaper, September 2017

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