Feel Good Field Day to lift wellbeing

Otago Southland Young Farmers secretary Morgan Ramsay is set for the Feel Good Field Day near...
Otago Southland Young Farmers secretary Morgan Ramsay is set for the Feel Good Field Day near Gore on July 11. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE
A "feel good" field day near Gore next weekend aims to improve the wellbeing of young people in rural communities.

Ministry for Primary Industries rural communities and farming support director Nick Story said the ministry gave NZ Young Farmers $40,000 to organise events in seven regional areas including the South.

"It’s important we continue our efforts to give people the skills to look after their wellbeing, manage stress and to recognise and openly talk about mental health."

Provisional figures released by the chief coroner showed 654 people died from suicide in 2019-20, and nearly a third of those people were under the age of 30, Mr Story said.

Otago Southland Young Farmers secretary Morgan Ramsay said the ministry gave about $2500 to support its Feel Good Field Day.

Everyone knew someone affected by the impact of suicide, Ms Ramsay said.

"We can all share a story, which is really sad."

Rural communities lacked the support needed.

Many people need to prioritise wellbeing and shift from the out-of-date attitude of "She’ll be right and keep going".

The target audience for the event was the rural community, primarily young farmers and their teams.

"We’d love managers of farms to be there as well as their workers."

Often people who were good with stock were put in managerial roles and lacked experience of dealing with staff and the skills required to support them.

"That’s where a lot of mental health challenges come from in the rural sector."

The inaugural event was designed to give the rural community a chance to "engage and connect" and give them tools and resources to improve their wellbeing.

Speakers include businessman Brendon Harrex, rural counsellor Kathryn Wright and dairy farmer Tangaroa Walker.

Demonstrations between speakers include butchery lessons from Blue Mountain Butchers and dog training from Pip Wilson.

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