The Resilience Project

22 Nov 2018 - Capitol Theatre

Presented by Australian Unity

Building resilience to drought related stress and anxiety

The drought is a major source of stress and anxiety for farmers. It not only has a devastating impact on their livelihood and mental health but has flow on impacts to family wellbeing and community vibrancy.

Farmers in regional and remote NSW, including large regional centres such as Tamworth, have been severely impacted by drought affecting their mental health.  Remoteness and isolation can also mean people have poor access or limited engagement with social networks that are essential for building resilience.  Supporting regional communities and farmers to deal with the drought will provide benefits for their wellbeing and mental health.  A community session will be held in Tamworth as part of a joint initiative between Australian Unity and The Resilience Project to inspire attendees to be proactive and take care of their mental health and wellbeing.

Australian Unity is committed to building and promoting positive mental health strategies in our regional communities. Australian Unity believes prevention is just as important as treatment in mental health, and that resources are best directed at targeted preventative measures.

The Resilience Project presenter and former AFL footballer Martin Heppell will lead the session, which is focused around three key themes – gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.

Australian Unity and The Resilience Project will deliver an emotionally engaging presentation that provides practical, evidence-based, mental health strategies to build resilience against natural disasters such as the drought. Ticket costs are five dollars with all proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross' Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal to help Australia farmers and communities living in severely drought-affected regions.

About Martin Heppell
Martin’s background is unique. He spent a considerable amount of time growing up in Borneo (whilst his father studied an Iban Dayak headhunting tribe). He was also educated in different parts of South East Asia and is heavily infuenced by the morals and values that he and his family were surrounded by whilst living with the Iban.

After finishing high school in Melbourne, Martin spent 3 years in the AFL system playing football and following this he travelled the world backpacking for nearly 3 years. Upon return to Australia, Martin studied primary teaching. After completing his degree, he commenced teaching at a primary school and after 4 years, he was appointed as the Assistant Principal.

In all environments, he has thrived in situations that have presented challenges and have required optimism. He is passionate about children being given the opportunity to be raised in a positive manner that evokes confidence and a zest for life.

During this presentation, Martin will share his experiences and combine them with practical strategies that can be implemented everyday to improve our overall wellbeing.



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