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Budget falls short on assistance to halt rural suicide rate

May 17, 2013

Budget falls short on assistance to halt growing rural suicide rate

Budget 2013 should have included some extra provision to address the increasing and alarming rate of suicide in rural New Zealand, the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network says.

“The suicide rate in rural New Zealand has been highlighted this year by Federated Farmers and other rural organisations involved in the Rural Health Alliance Aoteroa New Zealand,” says Network chairman Dr Jo Scott-Jones.

‘The suicide rate in rural communities is significantly higher than in urban communities and in part this reflects poor access to appropriate support systems.

“The Network along with other rurally-focussed organisations has been discussing ways to address this growing problem and the addition of some central Government support would have been welcomed,” says Dr Scott- Jones.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand or RHAANZ is an association of health, community and rural sector organisations including the New Zealand Institute of Rural Health, Rural Canterbury PHO, Mobile Health, the New Zealand Rural Hospital Network, the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network, Rural Women New Zealand, The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, College of Nurses Aotearoa and rural mayors. The Alliance is also working closely with Dairy Women NZ, Federated Farmers and other organisations committed to improving the health of their rural communities.

The suicide rate in rural communities and in particular the farming community was the focus of discussion at the Network’s recent annual conference in Rotorua, which included RHAANZ representatives.

ENDS

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