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Rural mental health services given a boost

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/06/2016

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers and their families are not alone. © Getty Images Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers and their families are not alone. Rural mental health services are getting a $600 million boost which will pay for 10 more suicide prevention workshops and strengthen farmer networks.

It's the second stage of an initiative announced at this time last year, when 42 workshops were set up.

So far around 900 people have attended the workshops.

Federated Farmers last year published figures showing the suicide rate among farmers was significantly higher than the national average.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers and their families are not alone.

"While this season may be tough for some, it's important to keep a focus on what we can control and to remember the long term outlook for the dairy sector is bright," he said when the new funding was announced at National Fieldays.

The $600m will go towards:

* Ten more suicide prevention workshops in rural areas not yet covered

* The development of a programme focused on managing suicidal patients in rural areas

* Supporting the Rural Health Alliance's regional work.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counselling service on 0800 543 354

www.depression.org.nz/rural

Depression Helpline (8am to midnight) - 0800 111 757

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