Zoetis raises $100,000 for rural mental health services

Staff reporterCountryman
Mental health issues and suicide disproportionately affect people living in regional and rural Australia.
Camera IconMental health issues and suicide disproportionately affect people living in regional and rural Australia. Credit: Supplied/Matt Beaver

For the sixth year in a row, animal health company Zoetis has raised $100,000 for much-needed mental health services in rural Australia.

Zoetis hit the yearly target by donating $5 from every sale of its cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches, with the money raised going directly to Beyond Blue.

It will be used to provide rural Australians with around the clock free advice, counselling and referrals from trained mental health professionals via the Beyond Blue Support Service.

More than 12,500 people have accessed the service since Zoetis launched its annual campaign in 2016.

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Zoetis senior vice president Lance Williams said the company recognised the importance of improving mental health and tackling suicide, both of which which disproportionately affect people in regional and rural areas.

“We understand the devastating effect suicide can have on rural communities,” he said.

“We see first-hand the farming communities where record breaking droughts, devastating bushfires, serious flooding and more recently, the global pandemic COVID-19, cause upset and stresses that people living in our cities may find hard to understand.

“We’re incredibly passionate and whole-heartedly committed to supporting hard-working Australians with our donations.”

Beyond Blue chief community officer Patrice O’Brien said the organisation was “honoured to receive such wonderful support”.

“We know that people are doing it tough right now. Our average monthly demand increased 30 per cent over the pandemic,” she said.

“This additional $100,000 will help to ensure that people across Australia can access support when they need, regardless of where they live.

“People living in rural and regional areas face a number of challenges which can take a toll on their wellbeing, including disasters, economic change, isolation, limited access to services and most recently the pandemic.

“Since launching last year, 25 per cent of the people contacting our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service have been from regional areas, with twice as many women to men contacting the service, and anxiety, depression, worry, family and relationships being their main concerns.”

Ms O’Brien said the Beyond Blue Support Service was available 24-hours a day, seven days a week..

“There’s no eligibility criteria and it’s never too early, or too late, to seek support,” she said.

“Just one phone call or webchat with a Beyond Blue counsellor can provide immediate results and a pathway to longer term support.

“It’s a potentially life-changing service, especially for those feeling isolated.”

More information about Beyond Blue’s services can be found on their website.

  • Beyond Blue Support Service: 1300 22 46 36

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