The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is supporting NZ Young Farmers (NZYF) to fund a series of events for NZYF members as part of an initiative to improve the wellbeing of young people in rural communities.
MPI is contributing funding for the events, which will offer a channel for young people across the country to connect and learn ways to manage mental health and build resilience.
NZ Young Farmers Chief Executive Lynda Coppersmith says mental health is a key concern in rural communities, where factors such as isolation and high workloads can impact overall wellbeing and mental health.
“The mental and physical wellbeing of young people is a big focus of our organisation and is essential for the ongoing viability of many rural communities,” says Lynda Coppersmith.
“This project will increase awareness of the wellbeing support and resources available, and give young people the confidence to access them.”
NZYF clubs can select guest speakers who most align with their members’ needs and invite them to speak at their events. Speakers will talk about methods of working through challenging times that can impact mental wellbeing, provide further options on where to seek help, and advocate for daily practice of healthy habits.
NZYF is also helping to connect young farmers to mental health services depending on their personal preferences for seeking help. The anonymous webpage outlines key mental health services, how to access them, and what to expect when these services are contacted.
“People working in our food and fibre sector have busy jobs, often work in isolation and juggle many commitments, so it’s more important than ever to focus on keeping our mental health in check,” says Nick Story, director of MPI’s rural communities and farming support.
“Young people are an important part of our rural communities. This initiative will make it easier for young farmers to keep their wellbeing front of mind, and will provide vital options, networks, and support to reach out to when things get tough.”
NZ Young Farmers has a network of over 60 clubs that provide an opportunity for young people to make friends, network, upskill, and socialise.
Events will take place around the country over the next six months. For more information, please visit www.youngfarmers.co.nz/get-support
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