CRV Ambreed staff are being trained to look out for the mental wellness of their dairy farmer customers.
All of the company’s farmer-facing staff have recently attended award-winning GoodYarn farmer wellness workshops which focus on addressing stress on dairy farms while promoting mental wellbeing.
The GoodYarn workshops are designed to:
- Help participants recognise the signs of stress in others and how to approach them.
- Help participants understand the key factors which contribute to an individual remaining resilient and mentally ‘well’.
- Remove the stigma attached to mental illness.
- Teach how to refer people on if they need greater help than participants can offer.
CRV Ambreed human resources manager Lisa Fawcett and technical advisor Carolyn Freeman were trained as GoodYarn facilitators at DairyNZ before running the workshops with staff.
“We have had fantastic feedback from our team about the GoodYarn programme,” Lisa said. “It’s been eye-opening to discover how many of our staff have had first-hand experience dealing with mental health issues within their close networks of family and friends.
“Mental illness is a subject most people don’t talk about because, unjustifiably so, there is often a ‘stigma’ attached to it. The GoodYarn workshop has provided a great avenue for staff to open up and discuss the subject that affects so many.”
Through the workshop CRV Ambreed staff have learned to recognise the signs that someone might not be coping well, which can include: a marked change in personality, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and tasks, poor performance, substance abuse, extreme mood swings, self-harming (including risk taking behaviour), lack of personal care, changes in eating habits, sleep problems, increased anxiety, long periods of fatigue and increased isolation.
The material was developed by WellSouth Primary Health Network and was the joint winner of the Best Mental Health Promotion/Mental Illness Prevention section of the Mental Health Services Awards in August. DairyNZ helped come up with the licensing programme and is responsible for the nationwide promotion and collaboration.
Lisa said the GoodYarn content, professionalism of the material and facilitator training, was a credit to WellSouth programme manager Louise Thompson and her team.
“We are very grateful that DairyNZ and WellSouth have provided us with the opportunity to access such a well thought-out programme. It will help our staff understand what they can do to help connect their dairy farming customers to mental health support if and when they need it.
“Understanding how CRV staff can keep mentally well ourselves has been an added benefit.”