The outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis within the New Zealand dairy and beef sector and the government’s planned eradication programme is placing added strain on people and communities across the country and, in particular, those residing and making a living in rural communities.

It is understandable to be experiencing greater stress and anxiety – but it is important to remember that you are not alone and help is available. There are many resources and sources of support for people and families needing a little extra help during challenging times. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help.

• Rural Support Trust – call 0800 787 254 or visit Rural Support NZ for resources specific to concerns relating to Mycoplasma bovis.

• 1737 free text/phone number service (www.1737.org.nz) will connect you to a trained counsellor who can help if you have feelings of anxiety, helplessness or just need to talk to someone.

• Emergency Psychiatric Services (EPS) 0800 443 366 (1 for Southland and 2 for Otago). It may be useful to have a support person or advocate available to assist.

A more comprehensive list of services is available here  
In an emergency dial 111.