ANIMAL health company, Zoetis, has hit its yearly target, raising $100,000 to support the mental health challenges faced by people living in rural Australia.
Through its close partnership with Beyond Blue, the grand total has now reached $600,000 since the joint campaign started in 2016, as Zoetis continues to commit its support for the mental health organisation.
Zoetis achieved its goal by donating $5 from each sale of the company’s cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches. The funds have gone directly to the Beyond Blue Support Service to continue supporting people, including those living in remote areas, by providing free advice, counselling and referrals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Thanks to Zoetis’ donations, more than 12,500 people have been able to get the support they need through the Beyond Blue service.
Zoetis senior vice president Lance Williams said it was a great honour for the company to once again achieve its fundraising goal with Beyond Blue for the great initiative.
“At Zoetis we recognise the importance of improving mental health and tackling the tragedy of suicide, which disproportionately affect people in regional and rural areas.
“We understand the devastating effect suicide can have on rural communities. We see first-hand the farming communities where record breaking droughts, devastating bushfires, flooding and more recently, the global COVID pandemic cause upset and stresses that people living in our cities may find hard to understand.
“We’re wholeheartedly committed to supporting hard-working Australians with our donations and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our farmers, agricultural stores and veterinarians with the supply of animal health products where needed.”
Although Zoetis had reached its target of $600,000 over six years, the campaign does not stop here.
“We encourage our staff and the wider community to continue to raise awareness of depression, anxiety and suicide prevention and help to reduce the associated stigma,” Mr Williams said.
30pc increase in calls since pandemic
“We are honoured to receive such wonderful support from Zoetis each year, with all funds raised going towards the Beyond Blue Support Service,” Beyond Blue chief community officer Patrice O’Brien said.
“We know that people are doing it tough right now. Our average monthly demand increased 30 percent over the pandemic,” Ms O’Brien 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, 25pc of the people contacting Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service have been from regional areas, with twice as many women to men contacting the service. Anxiety, depression, worry, family and relationships are among their main concerns.
“Our Support Service is here for everyone, and is open day and night thanks to generous, long-term donors like Zoetis. There’s no eligibility criteria and it’s never too early or too late, to seek support. 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,” Ms O’Brien said.
The Beyond Blue Support Service offers free contact with trained mental health professionals by phone, webchat or email. In addition to the Support Service, Beyond Blue’s online resources can help turn people’s lives around.
- For more information about depression and anxiety, visit www.beyondblue.org.au.
- To talk to a mental health professional for free, contact the 24/7 Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 46 36.
- Free web chat is also available from 3pm until midnight (click here to access) and people can join the forums for free and download the BeyondNow app from the website.
- The free Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is available 24/7 at coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au Its dedicated phone line, staffed by mental health professionals trained on the pandemic response, is available on 1800 512 348.