The recent Good Yarn workshop in Dannevirke gave Emily Mott the chance to open up about her journey with depression.
"I live with depression 24/7 and while everybody can say, 'I understand', I can relate and for me the workshop reinforced the triggers, signs, symptoms, turning points, changes and the hope I know all too well," she said.
The Good Yarn workshops have been hosted by the Tararua Dairy Women's Network which teamed with the East Coast Rural Support Trust which pays for the events.
Designed for small groups of between 12 and 20, the workshops are a help for farmers and those who come into contact with farmers regularly, to talk about mental wellbeing and to recognise signs of stress.
In September 2007, Emily, a quad-bike passenger, fell, hitting her head. She wasn't wearing a helmet. Emily couldn't remember her husband Baz, or their wedding day just six weeks earlier.
Since then she has battled a traumatic brain injury and depression.
"One day I want to share my experience with others, but in the meantime I've started a women's group at Ngapaeruru and I'd like the Good Yarn people to come and speak there too," she said.
"Attending last week's workshop was a bit like training for me. I can relate and I want to help.
"I've come out of my accident fighting, but it's taken more than 11 years. And what I've learned is that it's okay to ask for help. You are not alone.
"Often we think we are alone but we're not. People sometimes put mental problems in the too-hard box, but I've discovered there are times when you need to be in that space because all you need is to discover who you are.
"For me, it's been about starting the women's group, card-making, and I'm the treasurer of the Dannevirke JAB rugby and a scout leader for Te Uri and Ngapaeruru and a volunteer on Radio Dannevirke.
"For me it's the little things in life, like a smile when you are down in the dumps and actually realising how fragile you are."
The Good Yarn workshops are about recognising signs of stress and getting to know common mental-health problems and acquiring information on how to talk to someone about mental health and strategies to guide them towards appropriate support.
Emily said if people needed someone to talk to they could approach her.
"If I can't help I can put them in touch with someone who can, but it can start by ringing me," she said.
"I disagree with the statement that time is your healer. You need to realise you are your healer and for me, I've been given a second chance and I'm accepted by everyone.
"There have been times when I needed to talk. People said they were coming to visit and I'd be ready with cake and a cuppa and they didn't turn up.
"The disappointment was dreadful and if it wasn't for my husband, Baz, and my mother-in-law, Margaret Mott, I dread to think what would have happened.
"They have been amazing. I have had to make the change and Margaret helped me. But now she has passed away, so I'm going to help others. I'm stepping out and saying this is my life and, by God, I'm leaving my mark."
Dairy Women's Network regional leaders for Tararua, Penelope Drysdale and Sarah Gibb, ran the first workshop in April at the Nireaha Hall, followed by one at Fonterra in Pahiatua. Last Wednesday, it was the Dannevirke workshop, sponsored by Dannevirke Vet Services.
"Sarah and I saw a real need within our region of farmers to give them more support," Penelope said.
"We've run a series of other events to assist women in their day-to-day role on the farm and this was just another branch of it to encourage the husbands to attend.
"Rural professionals, workers and anyone within the rural community are welcome. Its not just specific to women.
"It's inclusive of everyone, neighbours, friends, family, whoever is in the rural community that can benefit from it. With everything that's going on in dairy and the agricultural industry at the moment, it's proving to be very stressful for a lot of people.
"So we're just trying to wrap everyone with as much support as we can and just making everyone aware of it. And it's not that big taboo subject to talk about.
"It can be something that everyone's comfortable to talk about and ensure that their neighbours and workers are actually coping okay.
"It's the people who don't come to these workshops who are the people we want there."
Sarah Gibb thinks educating people to look for signs in neighbours and themselves is a priority.
"The workshops are a way for all of us to show the community we're all looking out for each other and if we don't know everything, we can point people towards Rural Support Trust, which directs people to the right sources and area of need for their concerns," she said.
"We're building a strong relationship with the rural support trust. We're trying to live to our values of Women's Dairy Network - inclusion and stand tall together - by collaborating with other organisations."
Jane Tylee, of East Coast Rural Support Trust, said farming exposed a lot of people to stress, with long working hours and issues such as Mycoplasma bovis, finance, weather, isolation and lack of connectivity.
• To contact East Coast Rural Support Trust, phone 0800 787 254.