Call to des­tig­ma­tise ru­ral sui­cide, de­pres­sion in NZ

Fiji Sun - - Aust/nz News - RNZI

Gis­borne: A farmer who re­cently lost a fam­ily mem­ber to sui­cide is call­ing for changes to the way men­tal health is talked about. San­dra Faulkner farms just out of Gis­borne and a mem­ber of her ex­tended fam­ily com­mit­ted sui­cide last month. The fam­ily and com­mu­nity were still reel­ing, and the farm­ing sec­tor needed to change the way it dis­cussed men­tal health, she said. Us­ing the words “brain health” rather than “men­tal health” may help to re­move the stigma and emo­tion around the topic, she said.

“The word ‘men­tal’ is an ex­ter­nal­ity, it’s not some­thing that you can grab hold of and fix or shape, but if you were to talk about brain health and chem­i­cal im­bal­ances, then sud­denly it’s some­thing that makes per­fect sense to farm­ers.”

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