01 November 2023, AU: A CONVERSATION on a footy field between two mates has led to Corteva Agriscience, and training provider Pharus Wellbeing joining forces to provide mental health first aid training to clients in support of World Mental Health Day.
Full time had just been blown in a game of Aussie Rules when Corteva Agriscience Territory Sales Manager, Adam Harber, and Founder of Pharus Wellbeing, Daniel McCullough, began talking about how they approached the end of year with clients.
Mr Harber said each year, as a means of thanks for their business, he would gift clients a box of chocolates or gourmet hamper, but this year he wanted to do something more meaningful.
“Mental health is a big issue in ag, particularly in rural and regional communities, and I wanted to do something positive this year,” he said.
“After a good chat with Daniel, I came up with the idea of offering a Mental Health First Aid Course for customers.”
“We know there is a huge stigma around mental health and I know from spending a large chunk of my life working on farms, that a career in ag comes with a lot of stress. That’s why I thought the course would be a great way to increase awareness and work towards changing that stigma.”
Seven Corteva Agriscience resellers from regional areas across the industry, including Nutrien Ag Solutions, Norco Co-operative Limited, Lindsay Rural and Lindsay Transport took part in the two-day course held in Brisbane, and delivered by Pharus Wellbeing.
Pharus Wellbeing exists to educate and train individuals and organisations on how to have conversations around mental health and provides specialised Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) across Australia.
Founder and accredited training provider, Daniel McCullough, facilitated the course and said it was uplifting to see the positive impact the training had on participants.
“The feedback we received from participants was incredible,” Mr McCullough said.
“We had people walk away from the two days with a newfound confidence in how to approach conversations about mental health in the future, which is so important when we’re talking about regional and remote communities that are most affected.”
Two per cent of all profits from Pharus Wellbeing workshops go towards supporting TradeMutt, and This is a Conversation Starter (TIACS), a free phone and text counselling service offering mental health support to Australia’s blue-collar community.
Corteva has supported TradeMutt and TIACS since 2019 and collaborated with the company to distribute 500 unique Corteva TradeMutt shirts to agricultural suppliers, staff and customers in 2019 and again with caps in 2021.
Mr Harber said given Corteva’s role in the agricultural industry, and commitment to promoting mental health awareness in regional communities, the decision to offer the mental health training was a “no brainer.”
“I would love to continue this approach of giving back in a meaningful way for years to come,” he said.
“It was incredibly rewarding, and the fact that those who took part feel more empowered to talk about mental health is a great outcome.”
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