Rural Women New Zealand has launched a “Feeling Rotten” survey on the causes and effects of anxiety and depression in rural communities.
“In 2006 our “Feeling Rotten” survey revealed a high level of anxiety and depression in rural areas,” says Rural Women NZ executive officer, Noeline Holt. “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 per head of population in rural than in urban areas. . .
“We recently provided funding for extensive counselling services to rural families in Canterbury following the earthquakes, for example,” says Ms Holt.
She says most people have felt the blues or been pessimistic or unfulfilled at some point in their lives.
“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 who lives in a rural areas is invited to participate in the survey which is here.