Gateway Gazette

Mental Health in Agriculture

In June, the Agriculture Committee sat down with representatives from Farm Credit Canada and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food to kick-off our study on the mental health challenges Canadian farmers, ranchers and producers face. Mental health is a very important topic to discuss and our study will continue in the fall. Our committee is hopeful we can help work towards not only ending the stigma, but work together on solutions and preventative measures.

As Canadians, we need to be open and willing to listen to those in need.

It was great to hear Farm Credit Canada is entering a partnership with the Do More Agriculture Foundation in order to create a network of mental health responders who can identify and support those farmers and ranchers who need help during difficult times. FCC’s funding will facilitate mental health training for industry representatives and producers alike. As well, FCC has been working with 4-H leaders in order to increase members’ understanding of mental health challenges farmers face through their healthy living program.

Initiatives such as the Do More Agriculture Foundation provide much needed support in removing the stigma surrounding mental health, while increasing awareness and encouraging dialogue for those in need. In addition, Farm Credit Canada plans to release a mental health tool kit by the end of 2018 to provide essential notes and references on how to deal with mental health challenges on the farm, while maintaining and creating conversations for families in need.

John Barlow, MP Foothills

Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Agri-food

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