Research impact | Helping farming communities to weather the drought
During 2019, the Menzies Stay Strong app was identified as an ideal template to address the mental health and wellbeing of Australian farming communities experiencing adversity from drought and other climatic events. It was adapted to create the Weathering Well app, an innovative digital mental health and wellbeing tool.
Originally developed in 2014 for Indigenous people with wellbeing concerns, the Stay Strong app has since become a well-regarded mental health and substance use digital application for Indigenous Australians.
Through a collaboration with Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN), development of the Weathering Well app drew on the expertise of graziers, growers, rural financial counsellors and mental health clinicians.
Released in September, the Weathering Well app uses a simple, highly visual interactive design to focus on recovery. The first training workshops have been delivered and the app is available for use as a psychological support intervention to be delivered by workers who have some mental health training but are not necessarily health professionals.
Facilitators guide participants through a conversation about their strengths and concerns and support them to set goals to improve their own wellbeing. The app also provides an opportunity to identify their supportive social network including family, friends and services.
The app aligns with Menzies’ Australian Government funded digital Mental Health program that raises awareness of online and device-based counselling and support programs.
The app is available for download from www.weatheringwell.com