ANIMAL health company Zoetis has raised $100,000 for support service beyondblue for the second consecutive year.
Zoetis raised the $100,000 for the mental health service by donating $5 from each sale of its cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches.
beyondblue chief executive officer Georgie Harman thanked Zoetis and said the donation meant beyondblue can respond to nearly 3000 contacts to its 24/7 Support Service.
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.”
Ms Harman said 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.
“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,” Ms Harman said.
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.
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