Waikato dairy farmer Sam Owen knows how tough life can get, and he has some sound advice for anyone else who may be struggling.
Owen has worked on his mental health for 10 to 12 years, and approached The Country to see if he could he could pass on his wisdom for Rural Mental Health Week.
When he was younger it was easy to dismiss negative feelings as being "just a bit run down," or having too many beers over the weekend," Owen told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
However, once Owen realised the problem was more serious, he was able to recognise his triggers and learn coping mechanisms to not only deal with them, but also help those who were supporting him.
"Learning how to cope with it and learning not just how it affects you, but how it affects the people around you, and how they can tell you're going through something, when you don't really know what's up or down."
Sam Owen's tips for maintaining mental health
Help others to help yourself
"Giving back to the community and helping other people – building people up, or building other initiatives up - is a good way to keep yourself on a good plain," Owen said.
Yesterday, Owen helped out at Morrinsville College farm by "swinging a few hammers," and today he was off to Port Waikato Camp to deliver some brand new bikes for the BMX course.
"Building up other community projects is a good way to keep your head in a good space and also build up your energy levels."
It can be difficult to open up to someone, and Owen suggests talking with a person you felt comfortable around.
"Sometimes it's not as easy as just picking up the phone because if you don't feel comfortable talking to the other person, it can be a bit tricky."
It didn't need to be someone close to you either, as Owen revealed his mental health awareness started from a chance meeting with a friend in the street.
Make a mental problem a physical problem
"Farmers are great at dealing with physical problems, it's what we do, it's in our nature," Owen said.
With that in mind, he advised writing down any problems.
"A good way to turn a mental problem into a physical problem is to physically write it down, draw it, and actually work through it."
Writing down an issue was a good way to gain perspective, Owen said.
"Once you've worked through it, some of those problems seem quite meaningless, because you've written them down and actually there's not a hell of a lot you can do about it – or it's so far-fetched that it seems stupid when it's on a piece of paper."
When you can - look after your support crew
"What happens is you're in a funk. You don't see other people's issues and other people's problems – well from my point of view you don't – and then when you start to come out of it, you start to see that other people are quite tired…they've been carrying that baggage with you along the journey," Owen said.
"You're expecting them to recover through the same process you had – whether it's through medication or whether it's through counsellors."
"[But the] people around you are just as key, and it's just as key to look after them when you're feeling good, as it is to be a little bit more respectful when you're not feeling good - because they're the pillars that stand you upright when you need it."
Also in today's interview: Owen talked about the online abuse of Welsh rugby player Liam Williams after his team's loss to France in the Six Nations.
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.