Tackling rural mental health

Zoetus joins with beyondblue. Photo supplied
Zoetus joins with beyondblue. Photo supplied

Zoetis Tackles Rural Mental Health with beyondblue

There is an urgent, ongoing need to meet the mental health challenges faced by Australians in rural areas, where the rate of suicide is about 50 per cent higher than in major cities.

Men in regional areas are on average 1.4 times more likely to end their life than their urban counterparts. From 2009 to 2013, residents of major cities had a suicide rate of 9.7 per 100,000 people, while the rates in regional areas steadily increased to around 12.8, with very remote areas having a rate of 21.5.

These statistics have prompted an ongoing partnership between leading animal health company, Zoetis, and national, not-for-profit organisation, beyondblue. In 2016, Zoetis donated $100,000 to beyondblue after collecting $5 from each sale of its cattle and sheep vaccines and drenches. 

Ms Harman says money raised by Zoetis supports beyondblue in reaching out to those in need: “The money raised by Zoetis goes directly to our phone and online services, which are an excellent way for people in the bush to get assistance. All the services beyondblue offers are free as a result of generous donations and sponsorships such as this one. beyondblue services include the BeyondNow app, which helps those experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis work through a structured safety plan. So far, the app has already been downloaded almost 17,000 times.

beyondblue’s online forums bring together people affected by mental health conditions, including carers and friends, so they can talk to others in similar circumstances at any time.

This can be done anonymously and safely in the online forums which are moderated by a combination of professionals and community champions.

People can support the Zoetis initiative by purchasing products between 1 August to 31 October 2017 from its range of cattle, sheep, pig, poultry or goat vaccines and drenches available at rural resellers.

To make a donation to support beyondblue, visit zoetis.com.au/communitysupport

For more information about anxiety, depression and suicide prevention, visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the 24/7 beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636.