REX Online

Community spirit + mental health in rural life with Craig 'Wiggy' Wiggins

March 29, 2024

Rural community champion and great friend of REX Craig 'Wiggy' Wiggins delves into the vibrant world of local events like rodeos and rugby matches, underscoring their significance in fostering community spirit and mental health in rural areas.

This podcast kicks off with Craig "Wiggy" Wiggins sharing the excitement and family-friendly atmosphere at the Methven Rodeo's National Finals. He celebrates local champions like Haami Boynton and Justine Gibson, and his enthusiasm shines through: "We had a crowd that really enjoyed's been great."

The conversation then takes a more serious turn, focusing on mental health challenges faced by those in the rural service industry. Wiggy openly shares his personal approach to maintaining mental wellbeing, highlighting the importance of routine: "I'm clerk of the course, that's what I do for my bit of mental health."

He emphasises the value of initiatives like AgriConnect Day, which provides crucial support to agricultural workers. It fosters genuine conversations and offers valuable mental health resources.

"We really want to run these nationwide and we know they work," Wiggins stresses, advocating for training that goes beyond "tick-box exercises" and equips people to have meaningful conversations about mental health.

The podcast underlines the critical role of community events in rural life. They not only provide entertainment, but also serve as a vital source of emotional well-being for those living in the countryside.

Wiggy concludes the conversation with a heartwarming piece of advice: "Take five minutes out every day, lean on the gate and have a chat with a mate."