Sounds like a good move taking the guns. Don't want anyone going off the deep end and shooting themselves or their families.
Gun confiscated as Marlborough farmers battle quake trauma | Stuff.co.nz
Emotionally fragile farmers still trying to rebuild their lives after the earthquake are at breaking point, with police having to confiscate guns for fear of self-harm.
Three months on from the Kaikoura earthquake and the psychological effects of the disaster are beginning to show in south Marlborough, with farmers exhausted*and overwhelmed.
The earthquake comes on the back of more than two years of drought, and support workers say the event feels like the last straw for some.
Most are living in houses with cracked ceilings and collapsed chimneys, while others can't get water to their livestock.
The emotional fallout is being monitored by police, with*patrols focusing equally on law enforcement and*mental welfare.*Officers make a point to stop and*chat with people cut off by the landslides*blocking State Highway 1.
Farmer and mental health advocate Doug Avery said the*quake*was beginning to take its toll*after he*fielded six distress*calls in the past fortnight.
The gravity of the situation was highlighted when police confiscated a farmer's firearm for his own personal safety, Avery said.
"In the last 10 days it has become obvious to me that a whole lot of people are starting to struggle again," he said.
"The insurance claims have been slow, they're trying their best but it creates a lot of trouble in people's minds.
"There are so many houses still needing to be fixed and winter is coming and people don't have fireplaces. There's a degree of exhaustion."
The emotional recovery was following a similar pattern to that of the Christchurch earthquake, where emotions started to resurface three to five months after the event,*Avery said.
It was going to be a tough road ahead and farmers needed to keep a close eye on each other,*he said.
"It's huge, it's real and it needs to be thought through and talked about," he said.
Reassurance patrols were being made*by*police*to*communities south of Ward.
Marlborough police community constable Russell Smith confirmed police had intervened and seized a weapon for someone's own safety.*
The process of dispossessing weapons was more than a simple confiscation, Smith said.
"Obviously it*wouldn't be good to swoop in and stress them out even more, we engage directly with help," he said.
"When there are concerns around somebody's state of mind that is certainly reason for police to remove firearms and their licence."
Any firearm confiscation was based on complaints or concerns of those in the area and by what police*noticed*on the ground, Smith said.
"We go around to people who would like a visit and also*make random stops to chat, it makes them feel a little bit better," he said.
"It's comforting*for them to know that police are around."
Rural Support Trust had run workshops and support checks south of Ward*over the past three months.
Facilitator and retired farmer*Ian Blair said farmers were resilient and self-supportive people but needed to open up to one another in times of hardship.
"I see a need for a time where neighbours and friends can sit down and discuss their difficulties," he said.
"Sometimes the reason a person doesn't reach out is because they can't see through their own problems and doesn't realise others are having the same experience.
"Those things can't be organised by trusts, someone needs that initiative to get others together."
Trustee and chair Colin Gibbs said the agency was working hard to connect people to the right services and help where they could.
"Some people are so down within their own mind that they can't rationalise anything," he said.
"A problem shared is*a problem halved, so we try to find the best avenue to help through whatever process."
The mental health of farmers was a major focus of the NZ Farming earthquake response.
The online farming community boasted more than 100,000 members and stepped up to help following the quake, with more than 50 people volunteering for a working camp to assist farmers around Kekerengu and Clarence last month.
NZ Farming founder Tyler Fifield said one volunteer helped a farmer for a*week, helping him get back on his feet.
"They had tea, they would go for drives, it allowed him to vent and go through what he was going through," he said.
"It's about dealing with stress without saying something is wrong with them."