Ryan & Lauren Williams, Fish Creek - October 2022 Mental Health Calendar

by Gippsland Jersey

'Don't let work get in the way. Do things for yourself and put your happiness first.'
Ryan and his wife Lauren live on their own farm in Fish Creek and love the lifestyle that farming provides them and their three small children -  Zach 5, Ellie 3, and Lucy, 7 months. Ryan has some great strategies for keeping in good emotional health throughout the difficulties life, including the isolation that dairy farmers often experience. Together the couple know what it is to experience moments in life that can jeopardise a person’s mental health.
Tragedy struck the young family several years ago and they experienced an incredibly difficult time. Whilst feeding the calves, Lauren suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks. Sadly, after having come through this event, Lauren suffered another miscarriage at 8 weeks. Struggling with grief and desperate to be by his wife's side, Ryan was grateful to receive unconditional support to run the farm from extended family and friends.

For Ryan, family always comes first, and he understands the daily juggle that dairy farming, coupled with family life can present. Farming is a 24/7 kind of business where nothing stops and the pressure can easily creep up on you. The cows always need milking, so Ryan has no guilt in employing relief milkers to share the workload, providing he and his family the balance that they need. Ryan loves working with cattle, especially in the genetic and DNA engineering side of breeding.

As the cricket coach of a local team, Ryan ensures he is asking his team mates how they are travelling, knowing the importance of supporting people's emotional wellbeing and providing an opportunity to chat. Farming can be isolating and stressful, however Ryan tries to never let work interfere with family time and time for the sport that he loves. Ryan says that surrounding himself with a support network and making time for things in life, outside the farm, are the key to helping manage his mental health.  

A big thanks to Connect Well East Gippsland for helping us bring this calendar to life in 2022. 

If you need someone to talk to, reach out to:

Rural health connect
Lifeline on 13 11 14

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