A Golden Bay farmer's battle with depression has taught him a valuable phrase that has become a lifeline for him and his family - You Only Live Once (YOLO).

Wayne Langford spoke to The Country's Jamie Mackay about how he and his family have embraced living each day with a YOLO attitude.

"We decided we're going to do this thing called YOLO ... and going to try to do something every day to say that we've lived for that day."

"We just so happen to still be on that journey. It's been a hell of a ride actually," says Langford who reckons the family have reached day 590 today.


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Langford, who is Federated Farmers National Dairy Vice Chairman says he was high-up in the organisation when he was dealing with his depression, along with running a farm. Although he was coping at work, his home life was a different story.

"You function because you have to there, and you do what you have to do and then you get home and you absolutely crash and that was my case a lot of the time."

Embarrassment about his mental health condition also kept Langford from expressing what he was going through.

"The fear of everyone finding out ... gives you that energy to keep going and keep performing but eventually it all catches up on you."

The YOLO idea came about when Langford and his family realised something had to be done before it was too late.

"We made the decision as a family. We've got to do something to change this otherwise something terrible is going to happen - so that's what we did."

Langford admits he can't remember much about the dark times, but believes it must have been hard for his family to watch him struggle with depression. However, he says they are not a family to "dwell on the past."

"We've moved on. I guess that's what YOLO's all about ... living life every day. We've got a whole bunch of YOLOs planned. And that's what it's all about."


The family kept track of their first 100 days of "YOLOing" by putting a post on their personal Facebook page to keep track of their adventures. Langford admits that depression was never mentioned when friends asked about the posts, due to concerns over what people would think.

Eventually Langford decided to share his story after "a breakthrough moment" when he was speaking to some medical students, he says from then on he was "a bit more happy to admit it."

For those wondering what a YOLO activity is all about, Langford says that on day 400 he went skydiving.

"That was a fun day and not as scary as I thought."

Where to get help:
Rural Support Trust: 0800 787 254
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.