[5 October/The Country]

According to a survey by Bayer New Zealand and Country TV, seven out of 10 rural New Zealanders had felt higher stress levels over the last five years. It asked participants questions regarding their views on topics impacting New Zealand today, including rural health. Of those who reported increased stress, 54 percent said financial pressures was the main reason, and the impact of environmental factors were in second. It highlighted the younger generation was the most affected by stress. Around 85 percent of respondents in the younger age bracket had felt more stress in the last five years. Bayer New Zealand Managing Director, Derek Bartlett, said the survey highlighted issues around mental health that needed to be addressed. It showed those living rurally were less likely to talk to a health professional about stress or anxiety. Medical Innovator, Lance O’Sullivan, said she wasn’t surprised by the results.