Southern Primary Health Organisation health promotion and
projects co-ordinator Katie Jahnke. Photo by Linda
Someone in a rural area commits suicide every two weeks.
The statistic is behind an initiative to help rural
communities be more aware of how to handle stress and mental
''It's extremely concerning, as 40% of our enrolled
population lives outside Dunedin or Invercargill,'' Southern
Primary Health Organisation health promotion and projects
co-ordinator Katie Jahnke said.
''Rural Life: Keeping the Balance'' had been developed to
help address some of the disparities and mental health
statistics around rural communities, she said.
A pilot of the workshop will be held in Mosgiel on Thursday,
It aimed to help people identify the early signs and symptoms
of depression, how to talk to people about those issues and
Feedback from the first pilot in Gore last month was
positive, she said.
Many things that were outside farmers' control, such as the
weather, the New Zealand dollar and dairy prices, which added
to the strain of daily life, she said.
They also often worked by themselves or worked antisocial
Once the workshop programme was finalised it was hoped to to
take it to various rural Otago and Southland communities.
It had also been developed so it could be be added to other
''It means they only have to go out once and it reduces the
stigma of going to such a workshop.''
The workshop will be led by former farmer and Southland Rural
Support Trust member Lindsay Wright.
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