Taihape Farmer's Openness Must End Rural Mental Health's Cinderella Status

29 March 2017

Mental health and addiction services in rural New Zealand matter because the people there are not numbers, says New Zealand First.

“A brave farmer’s openness on NZ Farmer is ramming home the importance of rural health and especially rural mental health,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Barbara Stewart.
“Even the government’s own Rural Mental Health Initiative believes ‘rural health professionals and the system at large will not be able to accommodate the response required’ as there is ‘poor accessibility to counselling and psychological services’.
“New Zealand First agrees with Michelle Thompson, chief executive of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand, who said rural New Zealanders do not receive equitable health services.  Kiwis in the cities receive far better health support and we need to look at geography not just population.

“This brave Taihape farmer shows how an urban Minister like Dr Coleman is, needs to pull his head out of the sand and provide adequate funding for rural health but especially rural mental health,” says Mrs Stewart.