Rural Mental Health

As the "Resilient Farmer" Doug Avery knows a thing or two about mental health, but even he admits these are extraordinarily difficult times.

'What we have to do as a nation is we have to start accepting that this is going to be bloody tough" he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

However, Avery said he was confident New Zealand was in the best position to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak.

"We live in probably one of the best places to attack this and I'm delighted with the process that's been going on, the direction that's been set by Jacinda Ardern and the team."

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Now was the time for people to dig deep and find ways to build up their mental strength during the Alert Level 4 lockdown said Avery.

"It's going to be really, really tough. We all need to behave ourselves and focus on what we can do as individuals to improve that ... that's going to rely on building our own personal resilience and mental health capabilities."

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The problem with Covid-19 was that it hindered the four things human beings needed to do really well in life said Avery.

"They need love, they need connection, they need purpose and they need hope. And this bug is attacking violently at all those structures.

"And so we have to use every bit of our capability to repel that process, to restore hope in people, to create purpose in people and to ensure that we are leading by being loving and connecting to people through the lucky thing that we've got - that we all thought was destroying us - the internet and the connectivity of that - using that to create love and hope in people's lives."

Most of all Avery said we should be kind.

"That's a huge message ... [un]load yourself of the things that you can't fix and concentrate on what you can."