Elle Perriam is the founder of Will to Live, a non-profit mental health organisation focussed on helping young rural people.
The 22-year-old from Haast founded Will to Live after her boyfriend, Will, a 21-year-old farmer, lost his life to suicide in 2017.
The charity toured the country in 2019 to raise mental health awareness in the rural community. It hosted events at local pubs and encouraged conversation between young farm workers.
Perriam was blown away by the support.
"We had 150 to 200 people at each one. We were stoked. We got 4500 rural people within two months, so that was awesome," she said.
The money raised was earmarked Will to Live events this year, but Covid-19 meant everything had to be postponed.
Perriam wanted to keep the conversation going though and so the Naked Shepherd Challenge was born in collaboration with Australian rural mental health charity The Naked Farmer.
The Naked Shepherd Challenge involves people from the rural community to take a picture on the farm, in their birthday suit, along with a few words about their mental health journey.
"The whole point is, if you are courageous enough to get your kit off, then you’re brave enough to talk about mental health", Perriam said.
"It’s not just about taking the photo and having a laugh. It's making you reflect on what you do have, and I'm so astounded. It only takes a couple guys to really talk about their depression or anxiety story and then everyone sends one."