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May 6, 2021 Issues & Insights

What We’re Reading | #Getreal about how you feel

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) theme for the 70th year of Mental Health Week (May 3-9, 2021), is “Name it, don’t numb it. #Getreal about how you feel.”

In a 2019 study of over 1100 Canadian farmers, scores for stress, anxiety, and depression were higher, while resilience was lower than reported normative data. And, females scored less favorably on all of the mental health outcomes.

For many in the agriculture industry, it’s not easy to share emotions; it’s not easy to #getreal. As part of Mental Health Week, CMHA is sharing a number of articles on naming, not numbing, our emotions: Info & Articles – Canadian Mental Health Association (mentalhealthweek.ca).

In addition to CMHA’s important resources, and the articles below, we are also giving a shout out to the University of Guelph – Ontario Vet College, as they continue to investigate mental health in farmers across Canada (take the survey by May 31, 2021).

TW: Some of the following articles contain references to mental illness and suicide.


In the Know farmer mental wellness program begins to roll out

RealAgriculture News Team: A mental health and wellness program designed specifically for farmers is launching this week in Ontario.

The program, In the Know, was designed by Drs. Andria Jones-Bitton and Briana Hagen, with the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph. It will be rolled out in 18 regions of Ontario. It was also launched in Manitoba earlier this year though the provincial producer group, Keystone Agricultural Producers.

Read More


New rural mental wellness toolkit

By Michalina Hunter, Young Agrarians

The Stigma-Free Society has just released their new Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit!

The Stigma-Free Society created the Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit to let individuals living in rural communities know that it is OK to reach out for help and that they are not alone. We all have mental health, and it is just as important as our physical health.

Inside the toolkit you will find engaging resources for audiences including youth, families and seniors. The Inspiring Stories for You section showcases videos of rural residents who open up the conversation around mental health and stigma. Peer Support Facilitator Training Program in collaboration with Robyn Priest LIVE YOUR TRUTH will be offered in the upcoming months for people living in rural communities, who can then create peer support groups.

Read More


How are we feeling? Canadians are worried, bored, stressed, lonely and sad

CMHA National: The pandemic is taking an emotional toll on people in Canada, as 77% of adults report feeling so-called negative emotions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The five most common responses across Canada were ‘worried or anxious,’ ‘bored,’ ‘stressed,’ ‘lonely or isolated’ and ‘sad’. This is according to the third round of data from the Assessing the Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health national monitoring survey released today by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in partnership with UBC researchers to mark CMHA’s 70th annual Mental Health Week.

Read More


Charity group calls attention to high suicide rates in veterinarian community

CBC News: Veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada and beyond are speaking up about mental health and the pressures of their job. And a social media campaign is raising awareness about the high rates of suicide among veterinarians, compared with the general population.

According to research published last year by the Ontario Veterinary College, more than a quarter of Canadian veterinarians reported suicidal thoughts in the previous 12 months.

Read More


Farmer shares struggles with mental health

By Doug Ferguson, Western Producer

Lesley Kelly learned from her dad what it really means to be a successful farmer.

“He told me that if you want to be successful, it isn’t about how much land you have or the type of equipment you drive,” she said. “It’s about how we work together, and how we take care of each other and ourselves.”

Read More


Farmers needed for new national mental health survey

Farm Management Canada: Researchers at the University of Guelph are seeking farmers to take part in a new national survey on mental health.

The online survey being conducted by the Ontario Veterinary College seeks to understand the impacts of work on the mental health of farmers. Findings from this study will provide further insight into data previously collected in other studies, one done in 2015/16 and another done in 2020.

Read More


What We’re Reading’ is a quick look at some of the issues and insights Alberta Beef Producers’ content creators and editors are reading to stay up-to-date, to broaden perspectives, and to explore issues relevant to the agriculture industry.


Resources:

Addiction and Mental Health Alberta | In the Know | Not One More Vet | The Do More Agriculture Foundation

The Canada Suicide Prevention Service | Find a Crisis Centre Near You

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