Racehorse trainers, not unlike farmers and other intensive small business operators find themselves at risk of ignoring or compromising their own health in order to keep working in their business or keep their businesses working. The person who coined the phrase, “work on your business rather than in it”, clearly didn’t have one or at least wasn’t a horse trainer!

Like farming, most trainers suffer drought or other difficulties. Ours just doesn’t come with no rain. We still have banks, clients, staff and the pressures that come with. We live in our businesses and often it’s the only thing we know and the thing we enjoy most.

It is worth reminding yourself however, that if you are not healthy then you may not be able to give your business, yourself or your family the attention and effort you would like, further compromising yourself and them….an ever decreasing spiral.

We all accept that with a broken leg or a buggered back, heart disease, diabetes or any number of ailments that we would find it hard to keep up the hours and the commitment that it is to do what we do. Obviously some of these will heal, others can be managed or cured with the right help, and at some point we would normally seek that help.

Your mental health is no different and it’s certainly no longer such a taboo subject that no one should go there. The simple medical fact is…If you struggling, you absolutely should go there!

As such WARTA can help. Through an initiative that was set up several years ago and supported by RWWA, WA trainers can get access to professional counselling at no cost upon receiving a referral from your GP.

Dr Suzanne Stout is an eminently qualified clinical psychologist, whose services are available at no charge to WARTA members for up to six visits. Simply put she will bill WARTA for the plus medicare gap directly and anonymously as ‘appointment for member’.

To access Suzanne’s services, have a discussion with your GP and if necessary obtain a referral for specialist care. When making an initial appointment at

Suzanne Stout

Clinical Psychologist
Suite 4, 544 William Street
Mount Lawley WA 6050

0409 882 494


Let her know you are a member of the West Australian Racing Trainers Association, she’ll be able to confirm that from a list we have provided and you are away.

Trainers who don’t have easy access to the metro area are encouraged to see their GP anyway if you think you need some help in this area. WARTA will be happy to help in a similar manner with a service provider outside of Perth.

You or your GP are welcome to contact us here at waracingtrainers.iinet.net.au or on 0418 938463 confidentially to make similar arrangements.

As with any community it is incumbent on all of us to look after ourselves and our mates. If you reckon someone might be struggling, just ask ‘em, RU OK?  What’s the worst that can happen? They say “yep, I’m going alright” or “nah, I’m struggling a bit”.

The beginning of a conversation, might be the beginning of a solution and given we are all pretty happy to help someone keep their horses happy & healthy, why should this be any different?

Mental health is not something to be dismissed, nor ashamed of. If you need a bit of help, it’s available to you and you should access it.

You’ll be very glad you did!