30 Nov 2013

Stressed rural families urged to get their men talking

9:36 pm on 30 November 2013

Families of farmers in Marlborough's Awatere Valley are being urged to give the men on the farm the chance to talk.

The Top of the South Rural Support Trust says some rural males who live very close to the centre of August's magnitude 6.6 earthquake at Lake Grassmere, are struggling to cope with the aftermath.

The  Lake Grassmere quakes stressed more than just buildings.

The Lake Grassmere quakes stressed more than just buildings. Photo: RNZ

The trust says that it has observed serious signs of stress and depression.

Its field facilitator, Ian Blair, has this advice: "You got to get them into a relaxed attitude, and many times, the easiest way to do that is to sit round the table with a cup of tea.

"You get something into the hand of a male - their whole attitude changes.

"If you're talking to them and they got their arms folded or the hands in their pockets, you know you've got major problems.

"Once you get their hands out of their pockets ... then they start talking".

Mr Blair says getting men to talk is the first step to recovery.

And you can hear more about how the communities of Seddon and Ward have been affected by the Cook Strait quakes and how they are rebuilding their lives on Insight, this Sunday morning, after the news at 8am.