5 Feb 2013

Rural women take a fresh look at depression

7:44 am on 5 February 2013

Rural Women New Zealand is doing a new a survey to shed more light on depression in rural communities.

It updates the 'Feeling Rotten' survey it did in 2006 which revealed a high level of anxiety and depression in rural areas.

Recently released figures from the Ministry of Health show that there are significantly more suicides per head of population in rural areas than in urban.

Rural Women executive officer Noeline Holt says it felt it was time to take a fresh look at the issue of depression working with other rural organisations.

She says the group has been focused on Canterbury for the last couple of years and there are still some issues there.

Ms Holt says it has been good to see Federated Farmers and the Dairy Women's Network paying a lot of attention to the issue of depression and anxiety in the farming communities.

She says the new survey will focus on the whole rural community and not only women as it did with the first one.

Meanwhile, Federated Farmers says its own rural mental health campaign called 'When Life's a Bitch' is picking up traction, with people making contact to share their experiences of depression and how to deal with it.