Mental health focus of Good Yarn series

Megan Bates

NEW Zealand Young Farmers is ramping up its efforts to get young people talking about mental health with a series of workshops round the country, and one of them will be in Gisborne.

The organisation has announced it will facilitate a further five “Good Yarn” workshops in the Taranaki/Manawatu, Tasman, Aorangi and East Coast regions in October.

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,” said Megan Bates from NZ Young Farmers.

Figures released last week 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, and 14 of them were Tairawhiti people.

The highest number of suicides were recorded in 20-24 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,” Megan 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 Southland, Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions.

In Tairawhiti the figure was double the national average.

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,” Megan said.

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

Venues for the GoodYarn workshops in October have still to be confirmed.

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

The Gisborne workshop will be held on either October 3 or 4.

NEW Zealand Young Farmers is ramping up its efforts to get young people talking about mental health with a series of workshops round the country, and one of them will be in Gisborne.

The organisation has announced it will facilitate a further five “Good Yarn” workshops in the Taranaki/Manawatu, Tasman, Aorangi and East Coast regions in October.

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,” said Megan Bates from NZ Young Farmers.

Figures released last week 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, and 14 of them were Tairawhiti people.

The highest number of suicides were recorded in 20-24 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,” Megan 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 Southland, Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne regions.

In Tairawhiti the figure was double the national average.

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,” Megan said.

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

Venues for the GoodYarn workshops in October have still to be confirmed.

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

The Gisborne workshop will be held on either October 3 or 4.

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