You don’t have to tough it out alone.  Just reach out for help…


As farmers we are very good at looking after environmental and animal health, but we don’t always worry about our own health.

The farming industry is often very isolated, we operate with a lot of issues outside our control – weather, politics etc. It is easy for things to get on top of us quickly – if something goes wrong it can be pretty dire.

 The farming industry has an unenviable record of deaths related to mental health issues – but it doesn’t have to be this way. Don’t leave it to someone else, look out for your family, mates and neighbours. Recognise problems can occur not only with farmers but with their family members as well.

It’s not that hard – as well as talking about lambing percentages and grass growth we need to ask each other how we are – AND IMPORTANTLY take time to listen to the answer. Provide an opportunity for others to tell you that things are tough. Put answers together with body language and what you know of the person and if you think something is out of the ordinary give them further encouragement to speak up.

 If they need help, help them find it.

By Federated Farmers Wairarapa Provincial President, Jamie Falloon

RESOURCES:

  • Is it an emergency?  If you feel you or someone else is at immediate risk or harm, call 111 or go to your nearest hospital Emergency Department.
  • Phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT Team). Select your DHB for contact numbers or ring Healthline 0800 611 116 Just need to talk to someone?  Phone 0800 111 757 to speak to, or ask a questions of, a trained counsellor on the Depression Helpline.
  • For mental health in a rural context, the East Coast Rural Support Trust put out a really informative and comprehensive guide ‘Feeling Down on the Farm’.
  • There is a wealth of useful  information at www.mentalhealth.org.nz and at https://depression.org.nz/  including: Take the tests to see how you are feeling; The LowDown, especially geared for teens.
  • Lifeline  -  0800 543 354 or (09) 522 2999
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666