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August 24, 2021 Health & Production

Do More Ag launches ag literacy program for mental health professionals

The Do More Agriculture Foundation (Do More Ag) is offering mental health professionals a chance to learn about the unique challenges facing people in agriculture.

According to Healthy Minds Healthy Farms, a 2020 study led by Farm Management Canada (FMC), farmers are more likely to participate in support programs offered by providers familiar with agriculture, and the unique needs of farmers.

In response to this need, the Do More Ag foundation will offer its first AgCulture course to mental health professionals on September 20. The four-module course will be offered over eight hours, and will be delivered by mental health professional and farmer Lauren Van Ewyk.

“AgCulture introduces therapists to both the current experience in agriculture, as well as specific strategies geared to meet the needs of farmers,” Lauren Van Ewyk, AgCulture Facilitator.

It is hoped that in building agriculture literacy, the course will help mental health professionals develop therapeutic relationships with farmers and ranchers.

“We are very proud to be launching this program and hope it not only bridges the industry knowledge gap, but allows producers to feel more comfortable reaching out for help,” says Adelle Stewart, Exectutive Director, Do More Ag. “With the current stress this year especially, having more mental health professionals on the ground to work with producers is something we are very proud to be a part of.”

The first session, which will be offered virtually, will help Do More Ag gauge interest. From there, the group will determine how often the course will be offered going forward.

Mental health professionals with five years of experience in their field are encouraged to visit the registration page for information on the upcoming course.

Do More Ag is a not-for-profit organization that champions mental wellbeing in Canadian producers.

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