Waimakariri MP welcomes $500,000 boost to rural mental health

Waimakariri news
Thursday, June 11, 2015

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey has welcomed a $500,000 funding boost to support mental health in rural communities.

Doocey, who has a background in mental health, said that those living in isolated rural communities would benefit by an awareness of the resources that were available to them and from initiatives that could help them access help when they needed it.

“Accessing mental-health support can be difficult for those living in our rural areas due to the distance between health-care services and the seasonal pressures of farming,” Doocey said.

The funding will improve the co-ordination of existing outreach services and develop new support programmes and resources for rural areas in need. The Ministry of Health and Ministry for Primary Industries each contributed $250,000 to the one-off funding boost.

“We know that depression has become a significant issue in many of our rural communities. Not only is physical isolation a factor but too often rural folk don’t want to ask for help. We need to ensure that they are fully aware of the help that is out there and to encourage them to be proactive in seeking that help,” Doocey said.