All of Ontario is talking about mental health on the farm and some groups are starting to taking action.
The Do More Ag organization, a Western Canadian not-for-profit, is offering farm mental health workshops in Western Ontario. One is in Embro, Oxford County, on March 25 and 26. The other is in Listowel, Perth County, on April 16 and 17.
The free, two-day courses aim to teach farmers the warning signs of a mental health crisis: How to deal with someone having a mental health problem and get them help. Farmers with questions or who would like to take the course can contact email@example.com to sign up.
Outspoken mental health advocate and dairy farmer Tim May is to speak at Mount Forest, Wellington County, on March 26. He is to be joined by mental health research Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton who released Canada’s landmark mental health survey in 2016. Farmers interested in attending can register for free up until March 22 at mayorsluncheonforhope2019.eventbrite.ca or by calling 1-844-264-2993, ext. 4056.
Lack of access to mental health professionals is one of the many barriers Ontario farmers find in getting help. One Eastern Ontario farm group has launched a program trying to connect farmers with the help they may need. The Lennox and Addington Federation of Agriculture is offering three free sessions to local OFA members to visit a local therapist, who is also a dairy farmer.