Support for agribusiness owners wellbeing
A new online wellbeing plan co-designed by small agribusiness owners across NSW to support their mental health and wellbeing is now available. The free resource is a simple and practical way for agribusiness owners to reflect on what they are currently doing to support their wellbeing, and set new goals to improve and maintain their mental health.
When compared to medium and large businesses, small agribusinesses employ the largest proportion of people of all industries in Australia. These businesses also face a range of unique challenges including those associated with living remotely such as isolation and difficulty accessing mental health services; challenges associated with running a small business including long hours and difficulty taking time off; as well as adverse weather events, and pest and disease outbreaks. These factors can all impact the mental health and wellbeing of small agribusiness owners in rural and remote Australia.
To explore the specific difficulties faced, national mental health institute, Everymind conducted a survey of agribusiness owners in rural NSW. Findings from the initial consultation were used to inform the design of the new Rural Agribusiness Wellbeing Plan, tailored to the specific needs and context. Key findings included:
- Top five stressors identified by agribusiness owners were adverse weather events, financial difficulties, red tape, long hours and work-life balance. These factors have formed the focus areas of the new wellbeing plan.
- Strategies most commonly used to manage mental health and wellbeing by agribusiness owners were making time to see family and friends, physical activity and exercise, and spending time on personal interests. These activities have been incorporated as important actions in the wellbeing plan.
- 70% of rural agribusiness owners are most likely to look online for mental health support. The new wellbeing plan has been designed as a digital resource and directs users to other sources of supporting information online.
To ensure the new resource was fit-for-purpose, Everymind also conducted user-testing, engaging further rural agribusiness owners to complete the draft plan. Feedback provided on areas including usability and relevance was used to refine and finalise the plan.
Small agribusiness owners who would like to learn how to better manage the day-to-day stress of work, as well as more challenging times can access the Rural Agribusiness Wellbeing Plan here.