Thursday, December 7, 2023

Programme to bolster rural wellbeing

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A programme to support rural people respond positively to pressure, uncertainty and change launches next month. Designed and delivered by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) and Umbrella Wellbeing, ‘Know Your Mindset. Grow Your Influence’ supports rural people – women and men – to engage with uncertainty with meaningful action that bolsters wellbeing.
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“From new regulations, to shifting consumer markets and adverse weather, rural people have always adapted to change,” AWDT general manager and farmer Lisa Sims said. 

“But in today’s world of supercharged change, understanding how situations affect our thinking and behaviour is helpful. From there, we can focus on what matters to us and choose how to positively influence the people, places and organisations we care about.”

With a focus on making the science of psychology practical, accessible and enjoyable for rural people, the programme is guided by clinical psychologist Bronwyn Moth of Umbrella Wellbeing and AWDT facilitator and farm advisor Geordie McCallum.

“We’re also working closely with the Farmstrong team, who are supporting us to build and evaluate the programme and share participant stories,” she said.

The programme follows a successful online pilot held for farmers last year, supported by Beef + Lamb New Zealand. Pilot participants gained an understanding of how uncertainty might impact their thinking and behaviour, and a plan to identify and focus on their priorities for action.

One 2020 participant remarked that “revisiting my values helped me understand the current disruption I am experiencing. It made me more aware of my behaviours that are unhelpful when under stress, which helps me find a more helpful way of moving forward”.

The two-part programme runs across two sessions – an online evening workshop followed by a daytime face-to-face workshop – in three regions in 2021: Tararua/Wairarapa, July 27 and August 11; Southland, September 6 and 21; and Waikato/Bay of Plenty, September 22 and 29.

Thanks to funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries, and support from Farmstrong and the Rural Support Trust, the programme costs $30 + GST per person. Farming partnerships, teams and families, as well as individuals, are encouraged to attend.

To learn more about ‘Know Your Mindset. Grow Your Influence’, visit

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