FCC an­nounces part­ner­ship to pro­mote men­tal health sup­port net­work

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Alberta - CONTRIBUTE­D

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has en­tered into a part­ner­ship with the Do More Agri­cul­ture (DMA) Foun­da­tion to cre­ate a net­work of men­tal health first aiders who can iden­tify and sup­port pro­duc­ers cop­ing with dif­fi­cult or un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances.

Un­der the one-year pi­lot project, FCC is con­tribut­ing $50,000 to the not-for­profit foun­da­tion, fo­cused on pro­mot­ing men­tal health aware­ness and well-be­ing in Cana­dian agri­cul­ture.

The fund­ing will be used to facilitate men­tal health first aid train­ing for pro­duc­ers and agri­cul­ture in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als in se­lect com­mu­ni­ties across Canada.

The train­ing is aimed at rais­ing men­tal health aware­ness and equip­ping par­tic­i­pants with ba­sic skills to pro­vide as­sis­tance when help is not im­me­di­ately avail­able.

The train­ing ses­sions will be de­liv­ered by ac­cred­ited or­ga­ni­za­tions and ex­perts and of­fered at no cost.

“We are see­ing the need for in­creased men­tal health sup­port in agri­cul­ture and ru­ral Canada, where peo­ple some­times feel iso­lated and don’t al­ways know who or where to turn to for help,” said Michael Hof­fort, FCC pres­i­dent and CEO.

“That’s why it’s im­por­tant that we be­gin de­vel­op­ing a net­work of peo­ple in ru­ral Canada who have re­ceived train­ing in iden­ti­fy­ing and sup­port­ing peo­ple suf­fer­ing from a va­ri­ety of men­tal ill­nesses and are able to con­nect them with men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als.”

DMA was es­tab­lished in Jan­uary 2018 to pro­mote men­tal health aware­ness, well-be­ing, and re­search, as well as to em­power Cana­dian pro­duc­ers to take care of their men­tal well-be­ing through ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and pub­lic aware­ness.

The foun­da­tion is also ded­i­cated to cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity of be­long­ing, sup­port and re­sources on men­tal health is­sues.

“Pro­duc­ers are among the most vul­ner­a­ble when it comes to men­tal health is­sues,” said Kim Keller, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for DMA. “By col­lab­o­rat­ing with FCC and other in­dus­try part­ners, we are rais­ing aware­ness of men­tal health and in­creas­ing the num­ber of peo­ple cer­ti­fied to pro­vide sup­port in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties across Canada.”

FCC were go­ing also be pro­mot­ing men­tal health aware­ness at this year’s Farm Progress Show in Regina by of­fer­ing in­for­ma­tion and ser­vices through an FCC well­ness cen­tre and an af­ter­noon of men­tal health aware­ness speak­ers on June 21.

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