Industry concerns for Southland farmers' mental health

By Sharon Reece

Southland farmers heard the region was bordering on a drought declaration at a meeting in Otautau last week.

With the threat of drought looming, and the cow disease mycoplasma bovis spreading, DairyNZ and the Southland Rural Support Trust are calling for farmers to reach out for help as tough conditions persist in Southland.

"It's about the whole community thinking about everybody," said DairyNZ Regional Team Leader Richard Kyte, who encouraged farmers to check on their neighbours if they had not heard from them.

Southland Rural Support Trust Chairman John Kennedy who spoke at the drought support meeting said it wasn't just farmers impacted by the conditions.

"The pressures that the farmer is under rubs off very, very easily on your family, on your kids, and also on the staff," says Kennedy who suggests taking time off the farm for a break is "crucial" for alleviating stress.

For more information about the support available visit www.rural-support.org.nz or call 0800 RURAL HELP
or visit www.dairynz.co.nz

If you need to talk to someone, the following free helplines operate 24/7:

DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757
LIFELINE: 0800 543 354
NEED TO TALK? Call or text 1737
SAMARITANS: 0800 726 666
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633 or text 234
RURAL SUPPORT TRUST: 0800 RURAL HELP

There are lots of places to get support. For others, click here.

- by Sharon Reece/The South Today

- Otago Daily Times

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