Campaign puts focus on farmers’ mental health
Help is available for farmers dealing with mental health issues, Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma said this week.
“Farming can be a tough business, one that sometimes takes its toll on farmers and their families and yet we all know people who have been reluctant to ask for help,” Bouma said during a Tuesday announcement. “We want to address the stigma that still surrounds mental health and help people find the resources that can make difference.”
Bouma made the comments as part of a mental-health public awareness campaign launched by the provincial government this week to highlight resources available to support the mental health of farmers. The campaign was announced by Bouma on behalf of Oxford MPP Ernie Hardeman, the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.
“Our government cares about the well-being of our farmers and farm families and recognizes they face unique mental health challenges associated with running a farm business,” Bouma said.
Available resources include the provincewide Mental Health Helpline (1-866-531-2600), Crisis Line (211) and distress centres. Programs to help farmers, including research to evaluate mentalhealth needs for farmers and business risk-management programs to cover loss and damage, are also supported by the Agriculture Ministry, Bouma said.
“If you’re a farmer facing mental health challenges we encourage you to reach out for help,” Bouma said. “You are not alone.”
The public awareness campaign is part of an overall provincial government commitment to spend $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a mentalhealth and addictions strategy. Bouma said the government is making mental health a priority and is working toward creating a province where everyone is fully supported on their journey to mental wellness.