4 Nov 2015

How to spot depression on the farm

9:16 am on 4 November 2015

Rural professionals who interact with dairy farmers on a regular basis are being invited to take part in workshops designed to recognise signs of stress and other mental health problems amongst farmers.

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Photo: 123rf.com

DairyNZ is running the workshops across the country starting later this month.

DairyNZ farmer wellness and wellbeing director Dana Carver said the idea was to equip rural professionals with a better understanding of mental health so they could recognise when a farmer may need help.

"Those people who are speaking to farmers and dealing with them on a monthly or weekly basis are more likely to notice if a farmer has just had a bit of a change in behaviour, which is often one of the key signs.

"As human beings, if we know somebody and we're seeing somebody every couple of weeks, we will know. So some people are naturally jovial or they are even maybe naturally grumpy and it's when you see a change in that: so somebody who is normally quite light hearted and talkative for a few weeks or months, you notice that they're just not like that anymore.

"That's often a sign that they could be dealing with prolonged or excessive stress and so it's just about saying... 'I've noticed you haven't been yourself lately, you haven't been as cheery, I'm worried about you, how is everything?' Those simple questions can make all the difference."

Details about the workshops can be found on the [www.dairynz.co.nz DiaryNZ web site].

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)

Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)

Youth services: (06) 3555 906

Youthline: 0800 376 633

Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)

Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)

The Word

Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155

CASPER Suicide Prevention

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.