Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, Northside Produce employee Milton Baker, Chamber of Commerce vice president Tim Sayre, and retired farmer Tony Castro talk about the Thank a Farmer breakfast that will be held tomorrow.
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, Northside Produce employee Milton Baker, Chamber of Commerce vice president Tim Sayre, and retired farmer Tony Castro talk about the Thank a Farmer breakfast that will be held tomorrow.

The reason Milton Baker wears floral every Friday

THE floral shirts that Northside Produce employee Milton Baker wears on Fridays may seem like a casual fashion choice.

But he wears them in tribute to a floral wearing mate who killed himself, while also lifting up the atmosphere for drought affected customers in the rural sector.

“It’s an absolute conversation starter. Anything to take their minds from the depressing drought that we’ve got,” Mr Baker said.

The business will host a Thank a Farmer barbecue breakfast on Friday morning, which begins at 6.45am.

Mr Baker said the breakfast was more about fellowship than about business, or about solving issues directly, but it helped because everyone could relate to each other.

“Some people say I’m as crazy as a coconut, and I am in a way, I have had my own mental health issues,” he said.

“I’ve had a few problems over the years.

“I’ve had to make changes in my life and everything is going well but that only came from talking to people.

“When talking about it there’s a big weight off.”

Mr Baker said that men had been conditioned not to talk about their problems, but this was improving.

“I’m in no position to know exactly why men are like that,” he said.

“I suppose it’s a fear of failure.

“As a society we place a lot of emphasis on men as being the strong people.

“That is changing now.”

Burnett MP Stephen Bennett said the breakfast was timed with R U OK Day which was held yesterday.

He encouraged the community to attend the breakfast, listen to guest speakers, and show that it could collectively deal with depression and illness.

“With the prevalent drought and fires in the Bundaberg region we want to make sure people can know they can reach out.”

He encouraged people to contact support services if they felt a family member or friend was at risk of suicide.

“The worst thing is if people feel there is absolutely no hope and of course there is nothing there for them, and of course that’s when we start to see depression and mental illness,” Mr Bennett said.

“If you are feeling embarrassed by this, don’t worry about it, people feel down from time to time.

“We want you to know people on the land are thinking about you.”

If you need help, please talk to Lifeline Australia by calling 13 11 14.



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