The black day farmer John hit the dirt, And Agenda: Many paths to depression, but what is the way back?

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By April 17, 2015 No Comments

Authors: The West Australian Newspaper

Year: 2010

Event: 2010 TheMHS Awards


Type of resource: TheMHS Awards

Award state: WA

Award level: Special Media Award

Award category: Rural Focus

Abstract: The entry comprises two stories, one from Morawa farmer John Cunningham and one from myself about my brother’s suicide and my subsequent experience with depression. I approached John specifically because I felt a need to write about rural depression as honestly as possible, but I also wanted the story to offer hope and a path to recovery for the reader. I drove the six hours to John’s red dirt farm after talking to him for 45 minutes on the phone. He is an incredibly humble man and when I left the farm after spending an afternoon of taking photos, we actually hugged. The subsequent opinion piece was a result the courage I saw in John to talk about his experience with depression. As terrifying as it was to air my life story to my work colleagues who I see everyday, my friends, family and the WA public, it was abated by the huge response of support and gratitude I received from both friends and strangers. Sarah Quinton has been a journalist for three years after spending many years travelling the world. Born in Perth and now working as a journalist for the only daily state-wide newspaper, Sarah has spent time in rural areas writing about many country issues. In her role as a journalist, Sarah covers rural and agricultural industry portfolios as the rural affairs reporter.

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