[11 November/ Business Day: NZ Farmer]

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand has called for a new suicide prevention policy that was specifically designed to address the risk of rural working age men committing suicide. Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand Chairman, Dr Jo Scott-Jones, said there were particular pressures on rural people that led to the higher rates of suicide, and therefore there needed to be a different policy for rural areas compared to urban areas. Dr Scott-Jones explained that the higher rate was partly due to the ease of access to weapons. He added that rural people had issues accessing services due to the lack of adequate transport and connectivity.