[15 December/NZ Herald]

Federated Farmers and other farming groups are pleading with stressed workers to speak up and ask for support following a series of sudden deaths of young men across the country. Feds President, Katie Milne, said she was becoming increasingly desperate to remind farmers that help was available when they need it. Terry Copeland, CEO of NZ Young Farmers, said the sudden deaths, which are believed to include a member of young farmers, were a blow as the organisation had just completed a series of workshops across the country educating people on how to recognise and support others and themselves. Ongoing weather worries, election uncertainty and Christmas have all put pressure on farmers and rural communities but historically young men have been poor at dealing with emotional issues, and leaders across the country are encouraging farmers to look out for their friends.