Mental health – making hope the cornerstone of life

I live in a very beautiful part of the world on a farm on the side of a mountain with rich volcanic soil and an average rainfall of 2000 mm.  Yes that’s almost 80 inches of rain per year. With Australia experiencing the driest and warmest winter in 15 years we haven’t had “real’ rain here for months. We are in the midst of a green drought as the highly moisture stressed ryegrass does its best to hang on and provide the cows with the  rich energy source that sustains them and the milk they produce.

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My little piece of paradise hasn’t looked like this for quite a while 

Rural Australian life is very rewarding in many ways, however, farming has many challenges including the long term impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and can be a stressful occupation.

Mental health and maintaining optimism in the face of adversity is very close to my heart

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” Helen Keller

I believe through  The Archibull Prize we are selling hope to young people. Putting them at the centre of the learning experience . Using farmers as examples of dealing with the daily challenges of providing quality food and fibre and Young Farming Champions  as leaders in creating the change we want to see.

Helping young people make ‘hope’ a cornerstone in their lives is the driving force behind The Cottage Mental Health program 

Archie at the Cottage

The Cottage helps about  forty, 12 to 18-year-olds experiencing a mental health condition every year. Days are split between schooling and therapy, with counselling,  rehabilitation, creative arts sessions, education and individual clinical management on offer to help students achieve their recovery goals. Source 

 Well done to all the business who have come together to make The Cottage a true story
of hope
“Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” Robert Schuller

If you know some-one who is struggling with stress an excellent resource can be found here



Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life