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Rural Mental Health Campaign

4/02/2013 2:00:00 p.m. 

Federated Farmer’s ‘When Life’s a Bitch’, rural mental health campaign, is under way and picking up traction.

“Rural Kiwis are coming forward, wanting to share their stories and to help those who are struggling,” says Jeannette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Health & Safety spokesperson.

“It is heart warming to see fellow Kiwi’s reaching out to each other, given the disproportionate number of suicides in rural New Zealand. Not surprisingly we have been getting many emails of support.

“Our campaign is supported by AgITO, Farmsafe, Beef & Lamb, Rural Woman NZ, Vodafone, Rural Support Trusts, NZ Rural GP Network, Dairy Women’s Network and Vodafone.

“Wallet sized ‘When Life’s a Bitch’ cards are now arriving in farmers’ mail boxes right around the country.

“Federated Farmers has combined with those in the primary industries and other health organisations, to get the message out that we need better resources for rural mental health. That starts with more open discussion around the issue of how to improve access in remote areas.

“Federated Farmer’s website now has a page dedicated to Rural Mental Health, providing information, tools, contacts and people’s stories.

“We are excited about the traction this project is gaining, showing just how important the issue really is.

“We would like to thank all those who have helped make this initiative happen,” Mrs. Maxwell concluded.

Several other organisations have also developed great initiatives to improve rural mental wellbeing. Rural Woman New Zealand has just released their Feeling Rotten survey and there is also the Dairy Farmer Wellness and Wellbeing Programme, focused on rural mental and physical health, which is run by the Dairy Women’s Network, Dairy NZ, the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health and AgResearch. Several of the Rural Support Trusts also provide fantastic support to people experiencing depression.

For more information, or to share your story, please contact;

Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers health & safety spokesperson, 027 357 4464, 03 302 8860

Kara Lok, Federated Farmers Health Policy Advisor, 04 470 216, klok@fedfarm.org.nz

Penny Clark-Hall, Federated Farmers Communications Advisor, 04 470 2162, 027 723 2733, pclark-hall@fedfarm.org.nz

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