Why do we support mental health initiatives such as: Gumboot Friday and The
Rural Support Trust?
By Frank Weterman CA
At our Staff Conference in March 2020 (just before the COVID shutdowns – so much has happened
since) we had the privilege of having Marcia Paurini present to the staff of NZ Grazing on what she
Marcia is the co-ordinator of the Taranaki Rural Support Trust and is one of the people supporting
Rural New Zealanders with mental health concerns. She relayed the blunt facts. New Zealand suicide
numbers are amongst the worst in the world – 15 to 20 farmers had committed suicide for each of
the previous five years. The trends are not getting better. The number of adults diagnosed with
anxiety disorder reached over 500,000 by the year ended 30 June 2021. (https://www.figure.nz/)
Mental health is seen by those experiencing mental illness as placing a burden on family and friends.
Most still don’t reach out due to shame or the fear of being treated unfairly – yet half of the NZ
population experiences mental illness at some time in their lives.
Marcia inspired our Service Managers to become more aware of our clients. The most important
thing that our team can do is to listen and ask questions, particularly if there are concerns about the
way that our client is feeling. She provided tools that can be used to assess the health and wellbeing
of our clients.
Our team are not medical professionals, they do not give heath advice, so as a company we support
those who are better equipped than us to deal with the issues.
“Gumboot Friday gives young Kiwis, our precious rangatahi, free and fast access to qualified
counselling. This service relies on the continued generosity of many New Zealanders. They need our
help, we need yours.” https://www.gumbootfriday.org.nz/
NZ Grazing has supported the Rural Sector for over 35 years. This is another way that we support our