Mental Health is a problematic issue around the world that until recently has often been ignored, says Ben Brooksby.
He is the founder of The Naked Farmer, a social media movement, which aims to break down the conversational barriers that often occur around mental health.
By using what, Mr Brooksby calls a "liberating combination of nudity and farm work" he and now people from all over the world are highlighting the agricultural industry through photos of 'naked farmers' with props strategically placed.
He is embarking on a 10-day Tasmania tour at the end of June, where he will visit various farmers and people in the industry.
Ready to bare it all is Hagley's Rowan Clark owner of Rupertswood Farm.
He and some of his family members have struggled with mental health.
"Anything I can do to help, we have had a little bit of family history with depression, and I just think anything I can do to help. It's a bit of a personal issue, but thankfully I've been pretty good for a fair while.
"I think it's a really good cause even if it takes someone silly enough like me to do it."
His wife Anna, suggested he give it a go in the hope it would generate awareness and create discussion.
"Hopefully this brings it to the front of what people are talking about. It's great what Ben is doing," Mrs Clark said.
"To push people like Rowan outside of their comfort zone, to do something that's a bit scary, well that's kinda like what mental health is, it's all a bit scary and scary for people to talk about it. What Rowan is doing is nothing compared to what people who are sick are facing."
Also jumping on board is Rebekah Frankcombe herd manager at a Mount Hicks dairy farm along with some of her rural friends.
She said Mr Brooksby's mission "really struck a chord" with her.
"We've had mental health issues in our family. I thought it's not something that we generally talk about so maybe if in removing our clothes it opens up a conversation and creates a talking point and helps bring mental health issues into the light," she said.
Ms Frankcombe said it was an excellent way for the rural community to band together and to advocate and be a voice for those who are struggling.
"I just hope that if I can take my clothes off, then other people can peel back a couple of their layers and talk openly about what's happening on the inside as well as what's happening on the outside.
"Being in an agricultural industry or in a rural area can be isolating at times. There's a lot of issues that come with pricing and whether it's going to be sustainable.
"We were a conventional farm, and now we have gone organic, we made that move to try and become more sustainable, but that doesn't come without mental anguish and emotional stress."
Mr Brooksby will be creating a calendar and book with the photos and stories he collects from the tour, with all proceeds going towards the Royal Flying Doctors Service Rural Mental Health.
"My main goal is to get Tassie talking. When someone who is well respected in the community does a photo everyone gets talking, and if we can get Tassie talking about mental health, then that's my main goal achieved," Mr Brooksby said.
As fifth generation farmer from St Helens Plains in Western Victoria, Mr Brookbsy has had personal challenges with mental health and thinks it's the biggest issue in agriculture.
"I was looking at statistics the other day, and I knew they were bad, but I didn't know they were that bad. It made me feel so sick just reading the statistics. Mental health across the board in Australia is just huge.
"It's not cancer or something where you can't stop it. This is something you can stop, and that's why I want people to talk about it. We need to get these statistics down because they are bloody alarming. It's heart-wrenching."
The Instagram account started as a way for Mr Brooksby to educate consumers about where their food and fibre comes from.
"I wanted to use social media for something positive and good."
For those wanting to meet Mr Brooksby and help raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctors Service Rural Mental Health there will be a final event open to the public at Rayburn Barn, Forcett on June 29.
There will be a $20 entry free and kids under 15 enter for free. The entry fee covers a spit roast and live music.
If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact:
- Lifeline: 131 114
- beyondblue: 1300 224 636
- Mensline: 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800, kidshelpline.com.au
- Mental Health Services Helpline: 1800 332 388
- In an emergency, dial 000
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