Rural Women NZ drought events planned to support communities
For immediate release
13 March 2013
Rural Women NZ drought events planned to support local communities
When it comes to overcoming anxiety and depression, especially in a rural setting, one of the most helpful things is to get together with others in the community according to the results of a ‘Feeling Rotten’ survey carried out by Rural Women New Zealand recently.
“Community support is especially important at the moment, as many rural people are under extra stress dealing with the effects of the drought,” says Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans.
“Rural Women New Zealand members have always rallied around their communities in times of crisis, and we’ll be doing the same over the next few weeks by organising events in drought areas for local people to come together, with support from the Ministry for Primary Industries.”
The Rural Women NZ ‘Feeling Rotten’ survey, which was conducted in February, revealed the top three causes of anxiety are feeling overwhelmed or over-extended (42 percent), followed by money and financial stress (38 percent) and family issues (13 percent).
The online survey was aimed at those living rurally and updated a previous survey carried out by Rural Women NZ in 2006. Despite the rural context, only eight percent cited loneliness and isolation as a cause for their anxiety.
40 percent of those who responded were in an agriculture-related field and included orchardists, dairy farmers, agribusiness consultants and vets. 94 percent of the respondents were female, and just over 60 percent fell in the 41 to 65 year age bracket.
“Our survey highlighted the value of having support systems and recognising and accepting issues of anxiety and depression,” says Mrs Evans.
Of those who experienced anxiety, nearly 60 percent currently receive, or have received medication and/or counselling. .
The support of friends was also seen as important and belonging to community organisations such as Rural Women New Zealand can help.
“Fifty-eight percent of all respondents felt belonging to a group or community was very important in overcoming anxiety or depression.”
Rural Women NZ is also promoting the ‘It’s OK to Ask for Help’ programme, which is particularly focused on coping effectively with family stresses.