9 December 2014
Rural insurer FMG and the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) have begun working together on a programme looking after the most important asset on the farm – the farmer.
“As a mutual, FMG was established over 100 years ago to help farmers protect their farms, so supporting a programme promoting the wellbeing of farmers is an opportunity for us to give back to the farming community,” says Chris Black, Chief Executive FMG.
FMG is pleased to be working with the MHF on this initiative – a partnership it sees as a natural fit.
“FMG’s extensive and well-established networks in the rural sector, combined with the Mental Health Foundation’s experience in improving wellbeing, means that together we can make a positive difference for rural communities,” says Judi Clements, MHF Chief Executive.
“Research shows that doing things to maintain and improve your wellbeing means you will be more prepared and able to deal with life’s ups and downs - and it’s also good for business,” Ms Clements says.
“Running a farming operation has become increasingly complex and challenging, not just in terms of the physical demands and economic fluctuations, but also because of more stringent regulatory and compliance requirements and expectations, and the need to do more with less,” Mr Black says.
“Farmers often prioritise keeping their stock, land and physical assets in good condition ahead of looking after themselves. The intent of our programme is to get them to think about that and help them and their families stay in good shape,” he says.
FMG and MHF are inviting farmers to complete an online survey as part of the programme’s initial development. The survey asks about the type of farming they are involved with, the techniques they use to manage the demands of their work, and what information they would like about keeping themselves in good shape.
“We know that many farmers are already taking steps to help themselves manage the stresses associated with farming. Through the survey we’re keen to hear about what they are doing so we can share some of the best ideas and techniques with other farmers. The survey only takes 10 minutes and can be found at www.fmg.co.nz.
“There’s plenty of other work going on behind the scenes in bringing this new programme together and we expect to be in a position to talk more about it next year,” Mr Black says.
The Mental Health Foundation is a non-government organisation with over thirty years experience and expertise in mental health promotion. The MHF works to design, develop, and deliver programmes, information and resources about mental health and wellbeing to create a New Zealand where all people flourish.
The Mental Health Foundation would like to recognise the Movember Foundation as an important funder of its rural wellbeing programme work.
FMG is New Zealand’s rural insurer and has been providing advice and insurance to all sectors of farming for 109 years working closely with a number of other organisations, including Federated Farmers and Farmlands. It employees about 500 people and has a network of 31 offices spread throughout the country in regional and rural locations.