Mental health through song in rural Australia

The National Rural Health Alliance and singer-songwriter Josh Arnold are proud to launch ‘Build ‘em up!’, a song written in collaboration with Friends of the Alliance and people in rural and remote communities across Australia.

Mr Arnold and the Alliance asked people from across Australia to contribute lyrics and ideas focusing on the resilience and fighting Aussie spirit of people who live in the country. The song is dedicated to those having a tough time in rural Australia.

And it’s not just the lyrics – the music video features photos and video footage from people across the country performing the song in their own homes or workplaces.

“When I first started writing songs as a teenager I was grasping at thin air,” said Josh.

“Now I realise that great stories which inspire great songs can give us hope in the darkest of times, make us feel like we’re not alone and in doing so bring us all together to share our common humanity.

“What could be more healing than that?”

National Rural Health Alliance CEO Dr Gabrielle O’Kane said that it was great to work with Josh and thanked everyone who contributed lyrics or ideas.

“These are challenging times but it’s been inspiring to see how people across rural Australia have become involved with this project”, she said.

“We know the pandemic can really affect the mental health of people in rural communities, but we also know that the arts are a great way to support people’s mental health. People found it therapeutic to be able to be part of something and tell Josh about their experiences.

“That’s why we’re excited to be able to launch ‘Build ‘em up!’, which is all about resilience and banding together in times of need. Thanks to everyone who was involved!”