Supporting the mental health of Canadian farmers

Supporting the mental health of Canadian farmers
May 09, 2024

Two mental health support organizations received financial support recently

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two organizations dedicated to supporting the mental health of those in the Canadian ag industry received financial support recently.

The announcements, one between AGCO and the Do More Ag Foundation, and the other with the federal government supporting the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing, came during Mental Health Week.

This year that week is celebrated between May 6 and 12.

On May 8, the AGCO Agriculture Foundation announced a $150,000 commitment for three years in partnership with the Do More Agriculture Foundation.

"By growing the farmer mental health initiative to the U.S. and Canada, we hope to further address the growing mental health crisis among farmers and provide them with the assurance that help is available,” Roger Batkin, chair of the AGCO Agriculture Foundation, said in a statement.

The support will lead to QR codes farmers can use to access local mental health resources in Canada and the U.S.

Presenting mental health workshops and training, as well as AGCO becoming the presenting sponsor for the #TalkItOut video series, are part of the agreement.

AGCO’s support “aligns perfectly with our mission, enabling us to expand our reach and provide critical resources to even more farmers in need of mental health support,” Megz Reynolds, executive director of Do More Ag, said in a statement.

Two days prior, on May 6, federal minister of agriculture Lawrence MacAulay announced support for the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing (CCAW).

The federal government will provide the organization with $1.08 million through the AgriCompetitiveness Program of the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

“I know firsthand the challenges that come with life on the farm. You work around the clock, 365 days a year, facing unique demands and significant pressure. With everything else our producers have to manage, it can be hard to check in on yourself and prioritize your mental health,” Minister MacAulay said in a statement. “This new funding for the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing will help more farmers gain access to the mental health support they need, with services and tools that are tailored to them.” 

The CCAW will use this investment to support multiple activities.

This includes developing a mental health toolkit to support the sector in case of catastrophic events, support for mental health literacy education for ag educators across Canada, and expanding national ag mental health strategies and resources.

In addition, the CCAW will develop Canada’s first evidence-based agriculture literacy training program in collaboration with the Rural Physicians Society of Canada.

If you or someone you know requires mental health support, has compiled a list of mental health resources.

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