Siahn and Kev Le Brocq, Bravington// December 2022 Mental Health Calendar
by Gippsland Jersey
‘Don’t be stubborn, go talk to your doctor if something doesn’t feel right. Just bite your pride.’
Siahn grew up 2km down the road from her grandparent’s farm where she is currently share farming with her husband, Kev, and her Pop. The business is called Oak Jerseys and Siahn says this name encompasses everything special to her, as on the farm, a 120 year old oak tree grows in all its majesty. Over the years this tree has become a part of her story in more ways than Siahn could have ever imagined.
Siahn remembers spending every chance she could at Oak Jerseys. Her late nan, someone that she has always looked up to for her capabilities and resilience, would spend hours playing with her under the oak tree as a child and it’s where she holds some of her fondest memories. Her and Kev would later go on to marry underneath its branches. Even when Siahn ventured off to university, she would dream of the farming life and her special oak tree at home. After two years she decided to leave the student life behind and go back to the farm.
It was during her second pregnancy, and after a series of challenging events, that Siahn felt herself begin to spiral into mental illness. Despite being a mental health advocate with her friends, she ignored her own growing inner turmoil. Looking back now, she realises she was likely suffering with post-natal depression. Then, during her third pregnancy, she was confronted with one tragic event after the other in her personal life which lead to peri-natal anxiety and a deep ache in her heart. She began to give up on living. She was tired of being the one who always stayed strong for others. What stopped her from following through with her dire plans that day? She looked up from the dairy pit and through an opening spotted the old oak tree. It reminded her of all the things she had loved growing up, all the memories she had made along the way. She just couldn’t imagine not seeing it’s grandeur ever again. After a long and arduous battle with her mental health over many years, she finally admitted to herself that it was time to call her doctor and ask for help.
Siahn is excited to be part of this mental health awareness calendar as she recalls a story from the first edition regarding one of the farmer’s wives suffering with postnatal depression and anxiety. It helped her realise she wasn’t the only one. She hopes her story will help others also, to know they’re not alone and to seek help when they need it.
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
If you're a rural parent and feeling like you'd like a network, check out the amazing Motherland Australia