Can we make stone soup for rural wellbeing
Author: Michelle Stevens
Organisation: Kelloggs Rural Leadership Programme
Country: New Zealand
Research type: Case study
Mental health and wellbeing is a wicked problem for New Zealand. This report serves to explore if there is sufficient interest within the agricultural sector to pursue a working arrangement, commercial interest’s aside, in collaborating for the betterment of rural wellbeing.
Twenty three interviews were conducted with employees of organisations that have either a retail store presence, mobile employees visiting farmers and growers, or provide membership or professional services to the rural sector. The discussions identified that the sector is acutely aware of an increasingly poor state of mental wellbeing within our rural communities, and acknowledges this is a growing concern.
Many within the sector are working individually to make a difference by way of providing educational opportunities for their staff and customers, introduction to wellbeing training programmes, providing links to various mental health and wellbeing online resources and inviting different speakers to events and workshops.
By taking a collaborative approach the sector could improve wellbeing within our rural communities. Working in unison to simplify, standardise and share scientifically proven advice and techniques which are effective for self-wellbeing management, would achieve a much better result.
Actions resulting from the recommendations include connecting to cement commitment, collating and connecting key contacts, and a program of continuous coaching for regional champions.