Young Farmers to facilitate mental health workshops

by Anonymous Author

New Zealand Young Farmers is ramping up its efforts to get young people talking about mental health.

The organisation has announced it will facilitate five GoodYarn workshops across the country including one in the Tasman region to be held in Christchurch in October.

Megan Bates from NZ Young Farmers says the workshops are designed to equip people with the tools to identify the signs of mental illness and seek appropriate support.

“It is important people have the skills to recognise if a family member, neighbouring farmer or customer is struggling,” she said.

Figures recently released by the Chief Coroner reveal New Zealand’s suicide rate has risen for the fourth year in a row.

The provisional statistics show 668 people took their own lives in the 2017–18 year, with the highest number of suicides being recorded in the 20–24 year age group.

“These figures are a tragedy. We need to keep educating people to spot the signs that someone close to them may want to take their own life,” Ms Bates said.

NZ Young Farmers facilitated 10 GoodYarn workshops from Whangarei to Gore last November following a challenging spring.

Latest figures show the number of suicides has increased in Canterbury, Southland, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions.

NZ Young Farmers has a network of almost 80 clubs across the country.

“Members hold monthly meetings, organise regular social events and take part in contests and competitions,” Ms Bates said.

“The aim of all of those things is to get people who often work in isolated jobs off-farm and socialising.”

NZ Young Farmers is also working to secure funding to run further workshops next year.

The venue for the Tasman GoodYarn workshop is still to be confirmed — but will be held on October 10.