Statement from the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food on Mental Health

Jan 27, 2023

As Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and a member of Parliament for an agricultural region, I know that agriculture is about the passion of working your land and raising your animals. It is the pride of helping to feed the world in a sustainable way. It is the hope of passing on what you have built to your children, often following in the footsteps of your parents and grandparents.

Being an agricultural producer is also extremely demanding. It is particularly stressful these days, given the high input costs and interest rates, the diseases that affect animals or plants, unpredictable weather events and ongoing labour shortages.

In this context, it is important to avoid isolating yourself and to share your dreams and worries with close family members, friends or professionals. It is fine to seek help, in fact it is a good idea. There are specialized resources in the agricultural world that can understand this unique reality.

The Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing, the Do More Ag Foundation, or the Au coeur des familles agricoles organization do excellent work on the ground. They provide support to farmers who need it and I thank them for that.

On this Bell Let's Talk Day, I invite you to reflect on the importance of your own mental health and reach out to your loved ones. Please have the courage to talk about mental health and seek help if you need it, it saves lives.

You can find mental health resources for agricultural producers on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada web page. You can also refer to assistance available in your area.

The future of Canadian agriculture is bright. It's worth getting help to weather the storm. After the rain, the sun will shine again."

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