The governments of Canada and Ontario are committing more than $8 million to support the mental health and wellness of farmers and their families.
With this commitment, three programs — the Farmer Wellness Initiative, the In the Know program and the Guardian Network — will continue to be available to everyone who needs them. These initiatives are designed to meet the unique mental health needs of farmers and their families, and are delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) — Ontario Division, the government says.
To ensure more people in the agricultural community know about the supports available to them, a new promotional initiative is being launched called “the Sowing the Seeds of Wellness Initiative.” It will make promotional materials available to eligible general farm and commodity organizations for use and display at member events.
Funding will also be available over the next two years so organizations can produce customized materials, engage speakers, and/or develop other promotional activities that will provide farmers and their families with mental health-related information.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says by increasing awareness of the resources that are available, they can provide crucial support to the farming communities when they need it most.
“Our farmers and their families face unique challenges, often due to forces that are beyond their control. This can have a severe impact on their mental health, and we will continue to invest in targeted initiatives to support them,” says Minister MacAulay.
Funding for these initiatives primarily comes from the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.