OMAFRA launches mental wellness video series

The Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is launching a video series focusing on mental health for farmers, their families and rural communities.

The videos, featuring information and advice from farmers and leaders in the agriculture sector, will be posted on twitter via @OMAFRA and the ministry’s website throughout the season.

“When we reached out to farmers and agriculture leaders to get involved in our spring planting mental health campaign, they stepped up to the plate, providing advice on reducing stress, resources available to support farmers, and addressing mental health challenges,” says OMAFRA minister Ernie Hardeman. “They know first-hand what it’s like to be overwhelmed by long work days and stress when there is so much at stake, but with no control over factors like the weather.”

This video series is part of a broader, agriculture-focused mental health awareness effort underway since January, which includes a social media campaign and roundtable discussions with Minister Hardeman.

“When stress builds up to the point where it feels overwhelming, it can really take a toll on mental wellbeing,” Hardeman added. “That’s why it’s so important for family, friends and neighbours to keep looking out for one another – not only during planting season, but every season.”

Just talking with a friend or family member can make a world of difference. Farmers can also reach out for mental health support in their communities.

“Farmers should not have to be in crisis before they seek help.”

This initiative is part of the government’s commitment of $1.9 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a “comprehensive and connected” mental health and addictions strategy.

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