Wellness in Tough Times

Program Example In January 2020, “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” hosted a free social gathering event in four rural communities affected by the 2019 disasters. The event included a free meal provided by local community businesses. A national speaker was featured, and their focus was “bringing humor into rural communities during stressful times.” The program, “Momma Told Me There’d Be Days Like This,” was funded in part by WTT.

What attendees said about what they learned from the program:

“Everyday ways of think[ing] about different situation—positive thinking.”

“Listen more and help where you can.”

“Need to help others and myself on time and stress.”

“Incorporate the five stress management techniques [relax, exercise, avocation, communicate, and humor].”

The “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” format also inspired two organizations from Australia to create their own program called Tailgates4Mates.

Lessons Learned  At “Neighbor-to-Neighbor” events, families may bring young children and teens. There are opportunities for activities focused on well-being for youth, as well.  If you are providing a meal at your event, check to see if your organization has specific requirements for food vendors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team had to follow rules for who could provide food and how it was packaged for serving. For in-person events, it was easiest to order boxed lunches for attendees. Wel lness in Tough Times Inspires Outreach Projects in Austral ia By Soni Cochran, with Greg Mills, Chloe Hoy, Catherine Pattison, and Julie Ward In October 2020, the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network (APEN) contacted the WTT team to learn more about the project. The APEN group shared how drought, extreme heat, and bushfires were affecting the mental well-being of farmers and ranchers in Australia. Following a presentation by the WTT team, APEN was excited to use WTT project resources and adapt them for their communities.


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