Doug's Story

Doug had lost hope for his farm during eight years of drought. By reaching out for help from others he got himself through depression and got his farm through the drought.

We had eight years of drought

We’re in the driest place in New Zealand, basically. No matter what I did on the farm it was unsuccessful and I had no idea how I could help.

All sorts of things affect your mental health


I dived into the dark pit.

I didn’t know that I suffered from depression; I just knew that I had gone from being a person who was popular and happy to a person who was angry and bitter.

Depression or anxiety is different for everyone


Hope, I could see that there was an opportunity to do something

I guess it came down to I finally accepted that I needed to change. I sought people who came and helped us right across the spectrum of my life really. Primarily in farming - that was the bit that had been too tough for me to take.

There are things that can help you get through

See them all

I keep myself involved in a lot of different activities off the farm

It became a hugely important thing in my life to have other things that are not agricultural based, so I engage in all sorts of different things. I keep myself fit, reasonably fit. I bought a bike and ride everyday. 

There are changes you can make to stay well

Learn how

I’m now really a collaborator, you’ll never find me working independently again

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