Published on: January 8, 2019 | Last Updated: January 8, 2019 5:27 PM EST
A provincial public awareness campaign highlights mental health challenges suffered by farmers. Postmedia Network
Help is available for farmers dealing with mental health issues, says Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma.
“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 Tuesday.
“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 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.
“We want them to know they’re not alone and it’s okay to reach out for help.”
Available resources include the Ontario-wide Mental Health Helpline (1-866-531-2600), Crisis Line (211) and distress centres.
Programs to help farmers, including research to evaluate mental health 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 mental health 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.
Brantford Expositor 2019 ©