Friday, 29 October 2021 10:55

Flowers for mental health

Written by  Jessica Marshall
United Flower Growers are working on a campaign for mental health funds. United Flower Growers are working on a campaign for mental health funds.

United Flower Growers (UFG) have teamed up with florists across New Zealand and the NZ Peony Society to campaign for mental health funds.

The Peonies with a Purpose campaign for 2021 will see $1 from purchases of bouquets of Peonies made at selected retailers go to the Mental Health Foundation.

“We have teamed up with a number of influencers to help spread the word,” says a spokesperson for UFG.

“Looking after the mental health of Kiwis is important to us and anything we can do to support this amazing cause with our beautiful blooms, we are happy to do so,” they told Rural News.

Mental health is a major issue for many in rural communities.

Gerard Vaughan, spokesperson for Farmstrong, told Rural News that an annual monitor performed by Farmstrong showed that in the year between 1 July 2020 and 30 June 2021, the wellbeing of farmers and growers had not improved compared to similar improvements in previous years.

“We consider this is a result of a challenging year related to the ongoing impacts and uncertainty caused by lockdowns, labour supply issues caused by Covid, logistic supply-type issues caused by Covid and weather events,” Vaughan says.

He says that isolation can also be a factor to mental health issues in rural communities, but some have good support networks.

“So, it is really the combination of isolation and lack of good support networks… that can impact on your mental health, particularly if someone is dealing with difficult ups and downs with little or no support.

“So really the key point is levels of connection you have, and others to draw on to help you through tough times. Even people living in cities surrounded by lots of people can feel isolated if they don’t have strong connections,” Vaugh adds.

“The mental health implications of isolation is more than geographic, it is also about the quality and depth of the connections we have, or communities that we are actively involved with that provide support and connection for us when we need it.”

The Peonies with a Purpose campaign runs until Sunday 14 November with selected florists in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Timaru, and Invercargill.

All proceeds from the campaign will go towards the Mental Health Foundation to provide funding for mental health resources and information for those who need it or are supporting someone in need.

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