On February 22, 2022, CMHA Ottawa joins Canadians across the country in celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day and show our support for the people that make our agriculture industry possible.
Mental health in the agriculture industry is a topic of growing concern. The many constant demands, pressures and time constraints that come with this line of work often make farmers and producers put their work ahead of their well-being. Living in rural areas and social stigma are also among the factors that make receiving treatment and accessing services more difficult.
As a result of numerous roundtable discussions and other engagements with farmers about their mental health concerns, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has partnered with CMHA Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and other mental health and farming sector experts, including the University of Guelph, to provide mental health initiatives specialized to support those in the agriculture sector.
The Farmer Wellness Initiative provides farmers across Ontario and members of their household with access to up to four free counselling sessions per issue with a mental health professional. Accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, in English and French, farmers can call 1-866-267-6255 to arrange to speak to a counsellor. This service is provided by LifeWorks. This project is provided with funding by the governments of Canada and Ontario, including support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Visit ontario.cmha.ca/farmer-wellness-initiative for more information.
In the Know is a mental health literacy program created specifically for the agricultural community. We deliver workshops that are facilitated by one of CMHA’s mental health professionals using real-life examples from agriculture. Participants cover the topics of stress, depression, anxiety, substance use disorders and how to start a conversation around mental well-being. In the Know is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs. Learn more about In The Know at ontario.cmha.ca/intheknow.