Friday, July 1, 2022

Still feeling rotten?

Rural Women New Zealand is doing a survey on the causes and effects of anxiety and depression in rural communities, updating the survey it did in 2006 that drew a large number of responses.

“In 2006 our Feeling Rotten survey revealed a high level of anxiety and depression in rural areas,” Rural Women NZ executive officer Noeline Holt said.

“Causes varied, but for women, post-natal depression was reported as a significant factor.

“We’d like to know what’s changed in the six years since then, to help guide us in our advocacy role and in providing practical help in rural communities.”

Rural Women NZ is working with agricultural-based organisations such as Federated Farmers and Dairy Women’s Network to find ways of combating depression following recently released figures from the Ministry of Health showing there are significantly more suicides in rural than in urban areas.

“We recently provided funding for extensive counselling services to rural families in Canterbury following the earthquakes, for example,” Holt said.

“These feelings may be driven initially by anxiety, particularly if we have no control over what is causing our anxiety.

“While it is normal to feel these emotions, if they continue for too long they may be signs of depression.”

Anyone living rurally is welcome to take part in the survey. Go to

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