Anyone unaware that the wine industry is struggling again must have been in a coma for the past few months. It’s been spoken about, written about and broadcast by almost every media outlet and newspaper in the country. Many are working to find better ways for the industry to re-assert itself. Some are angry, some are in denial, most are confounded. It was not supposed to be like this. Chardonnay was going to take a hit but not the Reds! One of the scary realities lurking in our midst is the mental health risk that threatens those most impacted and their close family members. We all have roles to play in dealing with with the mental health hurdle. Those who feel angry are most often desperate to understand and deal with those feelings. More often than not they need a little help to get the ball rolling and that’s where the rest of us have a responsibility to share some of our better luck. Many say they don’t know how to start the conversation when they think a friend or family member is struggling inside. There are resources out there on the phone and in cyberspace. Quite often these agencies, with skilled staff and terrific on-line resources are the easiest to access as the point of first call. See the list below and don’t hesitate to pick up the phone or click on the link. That simple action could save a life and years of misery for others. The R U OK website has a few handy hints if you are not confident of how to start the conversation https://www.ruokday.com/resources-for-you/how-to-ask-r-u-ok/
If you are not convinced there are large numbers of people at risk, the following is an excerpt from last week’s report by one of the local agencies that operates at the coal face. “This week has seen an increase in client contacts in need of urgent financial assistance. My colleague and I are speaking to at least two or three grape growers a day in distress because they can’t pay their bills and/or have had grapes rejected due to disease, rot or shrivel”.