More funding to support rural mental wellness

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health

Hon Nathan Guy
Minister for Primary Industries

14 June 2017

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have committed another joint funding boost to rural mental health.

The Ministers committed $500,000 for Rural Mental Wellness at the opening of the Fieldays Rural Health Hub earlier today.

It will go towards 20 workshops for rural health professionals treating people at risk of suicide, continued support for the rural Clinical Champions and Medical Director, as well as support aimed at younger rural workers.

“The Government recognises that rural life goes in cycles, and we want to support our rural communities through the ups and downs,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Rural Mental Wellness initiative is administered by Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and Rural Support Trusts.

“It’s the right mix of further raising awareness of mental health issues within rural communities, coupled with practical help to improve the skills of the health professionals who work alongside the rural sector.

“This additional funding will help maintain the momentum and builds on the investment the Government has made in previous years.

“Cabinet will soon consider a new mental health strategy, which will take into account the needs of our rural communities.”

Minister Guy says farmers tend to be self-reliant and don’t always like asking for help.

“Farmers are really good at looking after the land, animals and machinery, but they aren’t traditionally as good at looking after themselves,” says Mr Guy.

“Due to its very nature, farming can be a very isolated occupation. Farmers often spend long hours on the farm, and aren’t easily able to socialise regularly with others compared to those who live in built-up areas.

“It’s important that farmers and their families know they aren’t alone if they need someone to talk to. There is a wide range of good advice and support from organisations like Rural Support Trusts, Farmstrong, and Dairy NZ.”

Media contacts:
Angela Kenealy (Hon Jonathan Coleman) 021 220 0129
Phil Rennie (Hon Nathan Guy) 021 405 443

Last updated: Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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