Being aware of mental health issues is admirable but sometimes it's not enough, the founder of Will to Live charity, Elle Perriam says.
"I sort of don't like to say mental health awareness as much because I think there is a lot of awareness out there – but awareness really means nothing to us unless we put it in to action" Perriam told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
Perriam was no stranger to mental health battles herself, founding Will to Live after she lost her partner to suicide in 2017.
She suggested checking in on farmer friends this week and instead of asking them how they're going – ask them if they're happy.
"It's a yes or a no question. If they say no, then you can elaborate and talk about it further."
"Everyone's at a busy time calving and lambing so just check in on your neighbours or people that have been quite distant with you lately and haven't been going out as much – it's something we can all do to put awareness into action."
Every week was Mental Health Awareness Week for Will to Live, Perriam said.
"We sort of just keep on trucking on what we're already doing".
It wasn't all business as usual however, as Will to Live had just wrapped up its Naked Shepherd competition in conjunction with Australian mental health charity The Naked Farmer.
The competition wasn't all about "just looking at naked people" Perriam said.
"There's some really awesome photos and entries and also some really inspiring stories".
Farmers sharing their "raw and honest" experiences with mental health had had a "really big snowball effect", and Will to Live was "super stoked" with this result from the competition, especially during Covid-19 restrictions.
"We're really proud of our following and our farming community and how everyone just banded together and got it done, because we had to obviously can our tour, or any plans to do events this year. So the online competition really went well."
Also in today's interview: Perriam and Mackay talked about the results from the Allflex Golf Experience competition which raised $11,000 for Will to Live and took a look at New Zealand's sobering suicide statistics.
Where to get help:
Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.