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Rural depression given a voice

Rural depression given a voice

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has welcomed the expansion of the National Depression Initiative (NDI) to include voices from rural communities.

“Rural depression is a significant issue. We want rural people who might be isolated to know that they’re not alone,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Research shows that suicide rates amongst our rural communities are higher than urban areas. In recent years male suicide rates have been up to 67 per cent higher in rural areas compared to men living in towns and cities.

“That’s why we’re expanding the NDI website to include personal stories from rural New Zealanders discussing their experiences, including the difficulties they have faced and sharing tips about how they now stay well.

“Farmers are generally a stoic bunch with a self-sufficient mentality which can stop them seeking help. By giving rural depression a stronger voice we’re hoping to highlight the issue and encourage more people to speak up and seek help.

“I encourage those within the rural community who need support with depression to go to the website and use the self-help tools that are available.”

The NDI website is fronted by Sir John Kirwan who has also publically shared his journey through depression.

The website already contains The Journal, which is a free online self-help programme designed to support people with mild to moderate depression.

Written stories and videos from rural men and women who have been affected by depression can now be found at www.depression.org.nz/rural


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