The Forbes floods were big news nationally and internationally last week, however once the headlines stopped many people forgot about those still suffering. One farmer from Forbes, Brad Shephard is using his love of flying and photography to bring awareness of the devastation and isolation of people on farms by posting regularly on Facebook. “There are lots of sad stories out there,” Brad said, who has lost 80 to 90% of his barley and wheat crops. “Unfortunately these floods are a long way from over and in some areas will linger on for months. Floods can be just as bad as droughts.”
As a survivor of depression, Brad said he had noticed as a result of the horror of the floods, people were showing signs of the onset of depression. “If you’re not feeling right, you’re tired or low, not sleeping well, talk to a mate or family member and seek help,” he posted, and offered some tips to help people feel better.
Brad said he had many people talking to him about the isolation and loss of crops. “People have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of income with no likelihood of getting that back for at least another 12 months.” More assistance has come to the community with the Australian Taxation Office announcing help by fast tracking tax refunds for people affected by floods, and offering additional time to lodge income tax returns. Visit www.ato.gov.au for more information.