Tuesday, May 21, 2024

RST, Young Farmers team up for mental health

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Memorandum of understanding signed to support young rural people.
RST’s general manager Maria Shanks says a shared commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing in rural communities makes the partnership a natural fit. Photo: Pexels
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Rural Support Trust and New Zealand Young Farmers have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen efforts in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the rural sector.

“We believe that by combining our efforts with Rural Support Trust [RST], we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of young people working and training in the food and fibre sector. This collaboration aligns perfectly with our mission to support and empower the next generation,” New Zealand Young Farmers (NZYF) chief executive Lynda Coppersmith said.  

RST general manager Maria Shanks echoed these sentiments, saying their shared  commitment to improving mental health and wellbeing in rural communities makes the partnership a natural fit, and “we look forward to the positive outcomes it will bring”.

Under the memorandum of understanding, RST and NZYF commit to working together to leverage their respective strengths and expertise and will seek to achieve several objectives:

• Increased awareness: The partnership aims to raise awareness of the existence and services provided by both NZYF and RST. By working together, they can ensure that young individuals working and training in the food and fibre sector are informed about the resources available to them for maintaining good mental health.

• Improved connections: One of the primary goals is to improve the connections between young people in the industry and the support they need for positive mental health outcomes. By fostering stronger relationships and networks, both organisations aim to create a supportive environment where young people can thrive.

• Enhanced access to support: NZYF and RST are committed to increasing access to appropriate support for young people with mental health and wellbeing concerns. This includes providing resources and guidance to those who may be struggling and facilitating referrals to the right professional support, ensuring they receive the help they need promptly.

• Strengthening rural communities: As a result of this partnership, rural communities and their connections will be strengthened, the organisations said. By focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of young people in the food and fibre sector, NZYF and RST said, they hope to create resilient and supportive communities that contribute to the overall wellbeing of their members.

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