Rural Women New Zealand has a long history in supporting families in rural communities with a broad range of health initiatives including mental wellbeing.

In 2006 there was a large response to our “Feeling Rotten Survey” which revealed a high level of anxiety and depression in rural areas. Causes varied, but for women post-natal depression was reported as a significant factor.

Rural Women New Zealand recently provided funding for extensive counselling services to rural families following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury.

This new survey will update our information on mental wellbeing in the wider rural community and will help us with our advocacy and practical support.

Everyone has been “down in the dumps", "felt the blues", been pessimistic or unfulfilled at some point in their lives. These feelings may be driven initially by anxiety, particularly if we have no control over what is causing our anxiety. While it is normal to feel these emotions, if they continue for too long they may be signs of depression.

There are three dimensions of depression. First is frequency. How often do you feel down or depressed? Second is severity of the depression. How bad is it? And third is duration. How long does it last?

Depending on the level of depression, it can mean symptoms such as the following:

• Changes in sleeping and eating patterns,
• Fatigue,
• Headaches, stomach aches, or other unexplained aches and pains
• Behaviour/attitude changes including diminished interest and enjoyment of previously pleasurable activities such as sex, sports, hobbies, going out with friends
• Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions and neglecting responsibilities and personal appearance
• Emotional symptoms including feeling bullied, dejected, apathetic, apprehensive, guilty, pessimistic, irritable, hopeless, negative, empty, suicidal thoughts, helplessness and low self-esteem.

Please complete the following survey
All responses will be in complete confidence.

This survey will close at 5pm on 2nd March 2013.