22 May 2013 9:34 a.m.
Addressing rural mental health issues early
An Opotiki doctor believes the Government can do more to help bring down the suicide rate in rural communities.
Chair of the Rural General Practice Network, Dr Jo Scott-Jones doesn't think the 2013 Budget will be of any benefit to the country's outlying areas.
He says there is a need to focus on mental health in rural towns, to the same extent as on farm workplace safety.
He says since 2007 there have been 125 suicides in rural communities - 115 of them men.
This is compared to over the same time, 24 quad bike deaths - where a lot of emphasis is put, but there's not really the same focus on mental health issues.
He says this is where support from Government needs to come in, to try and prevent the suicide statistics from rising.
Dr Scott-Jones would really like to see a focus on training for mental health issues for rural health professionals.
He also thinks there should be a public campaign to increase the ability of people living in rural communities to front up with problems at an early stage.