13 Mar 2013

Push for rural health alliance to tackle farmer depression

9:15 pm on 13 March 2013

A rural doctors representative wants a new health alliance to make a commitment to tackling rural depression.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formed last year, will hold its first AGM on Wednesday afternoon in the run up to the annual Rural General Practice Network conference in Rotorua this week.

Federated Farmers and Rural Women New Zealand are both running campaigns to raise awareness about depression and suicides in the rural community and increasing support measures to deal with them more effectively.

Rural General Practice Network chair Dr Jo Scott-Jones says it's an issue that the Rural Health Alliance could work on as well.

He says the alliance should set specific goals relating to depression because it is clearly an issue for rural communities.

Dr Scott-Jones are used to putting up with things, but you don't need to scratch the surface very far to find people in distress.