Where to go for help: If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider.
If you or someone else is in danger call police immediately on 111.
To talk to someone else:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: 09 376 4155
Northland farmers can ride some waves of wellbeing at a surfing event designed to boost their mental health.
The Surfing for Farmers programme sees farmers and growers from around the country trade their paddocks for the ocean during a number of surfing sessions at beaches around the country.
They are provided with surfing gear, lessons and a barbecue where participants can swap surfing stories and have a general catch-up.
The Northland sessions kick off at Sandy Bay Beach on the Tutukaka Coast near Matapōuri today at 5.30pm.
After that, sessions will run each Wednesday for another nine or 10 weeks.
Farmer Daniel Simpson, an assistant manager on a dairy farm in Purua, near Whangārei, attended last year and found it a good opportunity to meet new people.
The 46-year-old solo dad moved to Northland from Auckland five years ago.
"I've been in Northland five years and still struggle a bit getting to know the locals.
"The social aspect made a big difference and I'm still in touch with people that I met surfing."
Simpson has even delayed his holidays this year so he can attend today's surfing session.
The initiative originated in Gisborne in 2018 and has expanded to 16 regional surf beaches around the country.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients Northern regional sales manager Calvin Ball said around 10 farmers turned out to two Northland sessions last summer.
But Covid-19 put the brakes on the remainder of events.
"The ones we managed to get there really enjoyed it and thought it was great. Once they turned up, they loved it.
"It's a really cool concept, all the surfboards wetsuits, instructors, it's all free, and there's a barbecue and beers and a bit of a chinwag afterwards.
"It caters for all levels and experience. All you have to do is turn up with a good attitude."
The learn-to-surf programme provides an opportunity for farmers to step away from what can be an all-consuming business, get fresh air, exercise and interact with other farmers, rural families and industry professionals.
Sponsors – including Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Jarden, Rabobank and Bayleys Country - help pay for the wetsuits, boards, surfing tutors and barbecues.
Ballance Agri-Nutrients sales general manager Jason Minkhorst said the health, safety and wellbeing of farmers is an important topic.
Farmers are becoming more open about their mental health, however they still don't have enough support, he said.
"When you consider all the factors that farmers deal with on a daily bases such as working remotely, animal welfare, financial pressure, consumer demands, media and lobby group commentary, long hours and weather events like drought, it is easy to understand why mental health is an issue in rural New Zealand.
"New Zealand farmers love what they do, but the number of people struggling with mental illness in rural areas is growing."
Act Party list MP Mark Cameron, a Northland farmer, has been outspoken about the mental wellbeing of farmers and the terrible suicide statistics of rural New Zealand.
Cameron struggled with depression for four years in his early 30s.
He applauded the surfing initiative.
"It's a brilliant idea," he said.
"You can look at all manner of things that have gone on in the last 12 months – there's RSE workers who can't get in, meat prices are falling quickly, and you've got normal adverse weather events like droughts and floods.
"It's hard for farmers to want to engage. They'd rather tell you about pneumonia than tell you they've got a mental illness.
"It's a wonderful thing to see someone engaged in the rural sector."