This is the advice from farmer Chris Biddles, who is fronting Farmstrong’s new campaign, partnered by ACC. Chris wants farmers like him to take time out to chat to friends and family about any worries they have. He says it can go a long way to helping with wellbeing while on the farm.
Although the agricultural industry is the country's biggest export earner, it is also one of the most high-risk sectors for injuries. Fifty-eight percent of recently injured farmers linked their accident to stress caused by the job, with a quarter of those saying it was a major factor, according to new ACC-funded research for Farmstrong. Chris Biddles’ life was turned upside down when his 500kg farm bike flipped while he was riding it on his Northland farm. Biddles blamed exhaustion for the incident; ‘"I was really tired and because of that I made a dumb decision. That's the danger of fatigue. You do something you wouldn't normally do."
The research identified exhaustion and lack of sleep as being all too common factors in farm accidents. It also found the general stresses of farm life, being isolated from family and friends and being unable to take breaks contributed to accidents. Farmstrong, a rural wellbeing initiative, focuses on sharing farmer-to farmer tips about the importance of self-care factors including getting enough sleep, eating right and getting exercise to help avoid stress. Check out Farmstong’s website and Facebook page for more information, and ACC’s article about the initiative here.
Supporting our local rural sector
NPiS works alongside Taranaki Rural Support Trust as one of our core partner agencies; and we are proud to support the important work they do locally with our Taranaki rural community. For more about Taranaki Rural Support Trust, please see below.
Taranaki Rural Support Trust: Fostering and supporting the wellbeing of all Taranaki Rural People
When circumstances beyond your control lead to a climatic, financial, environmental or personal crisis, the Taranaki Rural Support Trust is ready to help.
Our members are rural people who have faced the challenges that rural life brings. Free and confidential help is available through the Trust's coordinator, and contact is one-on-one at a place that suits you.
Phone 0800 787 254