Do More Ag’s community fund will address mental health first
DMAF’s one-year pilot project will partner with Farm Credit Canada to offer mental health first aid training to program applicants throughout Canada’s rural communities.
“This training is really important, and we're starting in agriculture with a very basic understanding about where mental health is, about what mental illness is and what this training does is it really builds that capacity within communities,” Kim Keller, a Saskatchewan farmer and cofounder of the DMAF, said in the article.
The DMAF’s mental health first aid training will allow people to identify the signs of someone who may be experiencing a mental health crisis, Keller explained.
“It… gives people the confidence… to be able to handle a mental health crisis… It also goes a long way to breaking down the stigma that exists around mental health.”
Karl Armstrong from Parkland Farms in Sarnia says foundations like the DMAF are important for the ag community.
"Mental health in farming is nothing to turn a blind eye to, but it seems to be looked past a lot," he told Farms.com today. "Farmers have always been looked at as strong individuals that just put their heads down and get the job done... In reality, I think there are a lot more people in the ag community struggling with mental health issues who are maybe afraid to admit they need help, thinking it will jeopardize that strong farmer image."
"Awareness foundations like DoMoreAg ... will hopefully show others that it’s okay to talk about their problems and seek help."
People can visit the DMAF’s website
on Monday to learn about the fund and find the application form, Keller said. Those who apply will have to assume the lead organizational role, organize the training, and work alongside a facilitator who will lead the training, she added.
Farms.com has reached out to Ontario producers for further comment.
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