Time for a chat for farming people
A series of Good Yarn workshops is being hosted by Tararua Dairy Women’s Network. They have teamed up with East Coast Rural Support Trust which pays for the workshops.
They are designed for small groups of 15-20 people and take around 2.5 hours.
“They are to help farmers and those who come into contact with farmers regularly to talk about mental wellbeing and to recognise signs of stress,” says Jane Tylee of East Coast Rural Support Trust.
“Recognising signs of stress and getting to know common mental health problems and getting information on how to talk to someone about mental health and strategies to guide them towards appropriate support are covered in the workshops.
“Farming exposes a lot of people to stress: long working hours, M. bovis, finance, weather, isolation and lack of connectivity.”
Dairy Women’s Network regional leaders for Tararua, Penelope Drysdale and Sarah Gibb, ran the first workshop in April at the Nireaha Hall with Tararua Vets sponsoring the catering. Next workshop is on June 13 at Fonterra in Pahiatua with catering sponsored by Bisset Honda. Then on June 20 a workshop will be held at The Hub in Dannevirke, sponsored by Dannevirke Vet Services.
“Sarah and I saw a real need within our region of farmers to give them more support. We’ve run a series of other events to assist women in their day to day role on the farm and this was just another branch of it to encourage the husbands to attend. Rural professionals, workers and anyone within the rural community are welcome. Its not just specific to women,” said Penelope.
“It’s inclusive of everyone, neighbours, friends, family, whoever is in the rural community that can benefit from it. With everything that’s going on in dairy and the agricultural industry at the moment, it’s proving to be very stressful for a lot of people. So we’re just trying to wrap everyone with as much support as we can and just making everyone aware of it. And its not that big taboo subject to talk about. It can be something that everyone’s comfortable to talk about and ensure that their neighbours and workers are actually coping ok.
“The more people that know this stuff in the rural community, the better. The people that don’t come to these workshops are the people we want there. And of course farmers do like a free lunch — they can have a really nice lunch and learn some amazing skills,” said Penelope.
Sarah Gibb thinks educating people to look for signs in neighbours and themselves is a priority.
“The workshops are a way for all of us to show the community that we’re all looking out for each other and that if we don’t know everything, we can point people towards Rural Support Trust, which directs people to the right sources and area of need for their concerns. We’re building a strong relationship with the Rural Support Trust. We’re trying to live to our values of Women’s Dairy Network — inclusion, stand tall together — by collaborating with other organisations,” she said.
Penelope Drysdale encourages people to come along in a really welcoming, comfortable environment.
“Don’t be scared, because we’re all here to help,” she says.
‘The people that don’t come to these workshops are the people we want there.’
PENELOPE DRYSDALE, TARARUA DAIRY WOMEN’S NETWORK REGIONAL LEADER
■ To contact Rural Support Trust phone 0800 787 254.
From left, Penelope Drysdale, Jane Tylee and Sarah Gibb.