An impressive $100,000 has been raised for beyondblue to support the mental health of regional Australians, thanks to leading animal health company Zoetis.
This is the second year running that Zoetis has raised $100,000 for beyondblue by donating $5 from each sale of its cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches.
Zoetis general manager Lance Williams said the company recognised the urgent, ongoing need to help Australians in rural areas.
“The rate of suicide in rural areas is about 50 per cent higher than in major cities and we wanted to make a tangible difference to this disturbing figure,” Mr Williams said.
According to the National Rural Health Alliance, people living in rural areas face numerous barriers to seeking help for mental health issues. These barriers include stigma and reduced access to services and treatment geographically or financially.
“Zoetis is passionate about supporting hard-working regional Australians. Our staff travel more than two million kilometres each year helping farmers and have seen first-hand the kind of impact that this isolation can have on them,” Mr Williams said. “We encourage our staff and the wider community to continue to raise awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention and help reduce the associated stigma,” said Mr Williams.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman thanked Zoetis for its amazing efforts to support the mental health of regional and rural Australians.
“Rural Australians are at greater risk of mental health conditions, self-harm and suicide due to a range of circumstances that are specific to remote areas,” Ms Harman said. “They experience greater vulnerability to weather events and economic change, isolation and loneliness, social stigma and stoicism, and reduced access to support services.”
“The generous and ongoing support from Zoetis allows beyondblue to provide these communities with services and supports to protect their mental health when they need it. This donation from Zoetis means we can respond to nearly 3000 contacts to our 24/7 Support Service.”
For more information about anxiety, depression and suicide prevention, visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the 24/7 beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636.