Hannah Borland, Bairnsdale - May// 2024 Mental Health Calendar
by Gippsland Jersey
Hannah, a 21-year-old who has navigated the turbulent waters of depression and anxiety, has found solace and a sense of purpose in the dairy industry. Her mental health journey, which began with struggles that went undiagnosed during her teenage years, reached a critical point around her 19th birthday. Living away from home, her relationships began to suffer as a result of her mental state and antisocial behaviour. It was a friend's candid confrontation about her behaviour that became the catalyst for Hannah to seek help. “He said ‘This isn't right. You need to do something and I'll help if you want.’ He was a good pushing force to go and get on the meds and go to the therapy.”
This marked the beginning of a significant change in Hannah's life. She started therapy, got on medication, and took steps to take better care of herself. The road to recovery was not smooth, but Hannah persevered, making positive lifestyle changes such as cutting out drinking and embarking on solo car trips to gain clarity and peace. “It wasn't like a dream straight away…but it sort of got me in a good enough headspace that I sort of realized ‘I will come out of this.’”
Striving to repair and strengthen tattered relationships and reconnect with her family featured prominently in her recovery “I just tried to see mates that were good for my headspace at the time and fix the relationships.”
Hannah now speaks openly about her mental health struggles. She recognizes that discussing her issues could have mitigated the pain she caused to her loved ones and herself. Now, she understands the importance of communication in dealing with mental health. “Looking after your mental health, I guess it's just about…you have to know when to say it's too much for you.”
What has particularly aided in her recovery is her work on a dairy farm. The hands-on nature of the work, the variety of tasks, and the close care for the animals provide a daily routine that nurtures her well-being. She also emphasizes the need to have good friends and to stay active socially, especially because farming often requires working on weekends and can lead to feelings of isolation.
Hannah's story is one of overcoming adversity through the support of friends and finding a sense of balance and happiness in her work. It highlights the significance of seeking help, the therapeutic power of working with animals, and the crucial role of maintaining an active social life. Her experience serves as an inspiration to others facing mental health challenges, demonstrating the importance of community, open dialogue, and finding joy in one's everyday environment.