Walk with Me: On the Shoulders of Mothers

Have we given perinatal mental health the attention it needs? Join two graziers for a ‘Walk with Me’ conversation to see its impact on farming communities.

If you’ve tuned in to our first Walk with Me talk with guest speaker, Stuart Austin (Wilmot Cattle Co.), you’d know that we don’t shy away from tough conversations around mental health. This time, we are spotlighting an issue that is often experienced but suffered in silence – perinatal depression. So, if you’re about to welcome a little one into your family, or know someone you care who is, please enjoy the replay.

Watch the replay


About our next Walk with Me

Together with our guest speakers, Stephanie Trethewey (Motherland, Tas Ag Co.) and Stephanie Schmidt (2020 South Australian AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award, ACT for Ag), we’ll discuss the very important topic of perinatal anxiety and depression in our next installation of this series.  Join us in this live online session to get an understanding of perinatal depression and how it especially impacts families in rural communities.

$2 donated to Gidget Foundation for every registrant

$2 for every registrant to this event will be donated to Gidget Foundation. Gidget Foundation is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness of perinatal depression and anxiety. It provides programs to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents.

By attending the talk, you’ll learn a bit more about Gidget Foundation from its CEO, Arabella Gibson.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 people worldwide experience issues with their mental health annually []. If farmers experience problems with their mental health at the same rates as the general population, this would mean that approximately 25% of farmers worldwide are struggling with their mental health every year.

PL0S One

What is perinatal depression?

According to the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare:

The perinatal period extends from when pregnancy begins to the first year after the baby is born. The term perinatal depression includes a wide range of mood disorders. These disorders can affect a woman during pregnancy and after the birth of her child. It includes prenatal depression, the ‘baby blues’, postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.

  • 1 in 5 mothers of children aged 24 months or less had been diagnosed with depression.
  • More than half of these mothers reported that their diagnosed depression was perinatal (that is, the depression was diagnosed from pregnancy until the child’s first birthday).
  • Of all the cases of diagnosed depression, just over 1 in 5 were diagnosed for the first time during the perinatal period of the infant selected for AIWH 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey.

How RegenAg impacts rural motherhood

Stephanie shared a snippet of the challenges that rural moms encounter with us for our 2021 Field Day program. In it, she draws a connection between the journey of motherhood and regenerative agriculture. Watch it here:

About our speakers

Stephanie Trethewey

Stephanie Trethewey is a seasoned broadcast journalist who has reported for some of the country’s biggest shows including A Current Affair.

She now lives in rural Tasmania with her husband Sam and their two children. Rural life and her struggles as a new mum inspired her to launch Motherland Australia, a podcast which shares real, raw and unbelievable stories of motherhood told by women on the land. The show has been downloaded more than 170,000 times. Stephanie is committed to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of rural mothers across Australia through the Motherland community.

She is also the co-founder of regenerative beef brand the Tasmanian Agricultural Company, a trailblazing business that’s on a mission to produce truly carbon positive meat.

Stephanie Schmidt

Stephanie Schmidt is passionate about developing a thriving rural Australia, supporting individuals and communities not only to grow but to thrive. Steph is a Clinical Psychologist and farmer, running a large sheep and cropping farm with her husband and 3 young sons. Most recently, Steph was honoured to be the 2020 South Australian AgriFuturesTM Rural Women’s Award winner and the founder of ACT for Ag.

Steph has also experienced her own hurdles and challenges, learning the importance of caring for herself after experiencing Postnatal Depression twice. She combines her psychological knowledge with her lived experience of the challenges and rewards of farming life to introduce accessible and effective resilience skills. Through ACT for Ag Steph facilitates in-person community workshops and online live courses to build the capacity and resilience for our farmers and rural communities.

Let’s talk about it

Is there a mental health topic that you would like us to cover? Or do you know any graziers who were on a rollercoaster and would be open to sharing their story with our community of farmers?

By normalising conversations on mental health, we can help to de-stigmatise it. This in turn will encourage farmers to seek support from their friends, families and health professionals. So, drop us a note at community@maiagrazing.com if you have a suggestion for us.

Mental health resources

If you’re feeling down, or sense something is just not right, we encourage you to reach out to the many organisations that can support your mental health. Listed below are some Australian organisations:


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