A young Kiwi, Los Angeles-based, filmmaker has made good use of the lockdown period to help farmers battling with mental health issues.
King’s tour hopes to raise community response towards mental health in New Zealand.
In the lead up to Gumboot Friday April 3, King and 30 others will travel 2000kms on a fleet of 20 tractors to host free community and school events throughout the country.
The Gumboot Friday initiative, which launched last year, aims to raise $5 million for free counselling.
Last year Gumboot Friday raised $1.3 million to provide 10,670 critical counselling sessions to more than 2,500 New Zealanders.
Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says rural communities face physical and mental isolation, economic instability and limited access to health services.
She says these are all factors which contribute to poor mental health.
“Too many rural folk are so busy looking after their families, their animals, their friends and workmates that they put themselves at the bottom of the list, and fail to reach out for help.
“Mike King is a champion for getting stuff out in the open, and talking about depression and suicide: good on him.
“Federated Farmers wishes every success to Mike King and the Tractor Trek Team and urges farming families to get in behind the initiative.”
The tour is also supported by Hope Wines, Interislander, Farmlands, Fonterra, Skellerup, Skycity, Starbucks, The Warehouse, TR Group, Z Energy, among others.