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Mental health program to boost fishers’ mental health in regional Victoria


A mental health program for the Australian commercial fishing industry – Stay Afloat Australia – has officially launched in regional Victoria.

The Morrison Government invested $600,000 for Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) to deliver the first industry-specific mental health support program.

As of this week, three trusted advocates have been selected in each focus community and are now working in three iconic fishing communities selected by industry, including Lakes Entrance, Newcastle and Darwin.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said commercial fishers in regional Victoria face pressures that are unique to the industry.

“This program will connect regional Victoria’s hardworking commercial fishers with valuable help and resources,” Senator Henderson said.

“This year has been a challenging one for our commercial fishers, and it’s important we break down the stigma surrounding mental health so those in the industry can get the help they need.”

Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries Jonno Duniam said the advocates had received mental health first aid training and would now act as mental health support coordinators.

“It’s great to see industry advocates hitting the ground running, and ensuring our hardworking fishers have access to the help they need,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“We know studies have shown that a range of factors have led to poor levels of mental health among Australia’s commercial fishers..

“That’s why we committed $600,000 of funding to the cause at the last Federal Election to help those in the high-pressure industry.”

For more information visit

If you, or someone you know needs help, contact:
• Lifeline – 13 11 14
• Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
• MensLine -1300 78 99 78
• If there is immediate danger please call 000 or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

25 November 2020

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