While links between rurality and health are clearly established, there continues to be interest in the resources that can make a difference to rural, often underserved, small communities. This research investigated how collective features of communities of place and industry communities of common purpose, influence farmer and fisher strategies to maintain good physical and mental health in the face of difficult climatic and economic factors.
Centred on five farming and fishing sites in Australia, the research found it was not the health services in the sites, but the differences in the resources and capacity of non-health service community and industry groups and organisations that influenced the health and wellbeing behavioural choices of the farmers and fishers. Community groups and industry associations facilitated local access to programmes and their credibility persuaded people to participate. They cross the boundary between health services and farmer and fisher communities and are preferred, soft entry points to health information and support that can reduce the impact of occupational stress.