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More money to support rural mental health

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017

The government says it understands the "ups and downs" of life on the farm and it's putting an extra $500,000 into rural mental health services.

Federated Farmers recently released figures showing the suicide rate among farmers is higher than the national average.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced the funding at the opening of Fieldays on Wednesday.

"Farmers are really good at looking after the land, animals and machinery but they aren't traditionally as good at looking after themselves," Mr Guy said.

"Farming can be a very isolated occupation... it's important they and their families know they aren't alone if they need someone to talk to."

The money will go towards 20 workshops for rural health professionals treating people at risk of suicide and more support for younger rural workers.

Several government-funded programmes are already operating.

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