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Canadian Government Supports Farmers’ Mental Health

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal minister of agriculture and agri-food announced financial support from the federal government to the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing (CCAW) while participating at the inaugural National Symposium on Agricultural Mental Health, according to a release.

The government’s financial support of $168,440 will help the CCAW increase their available resources and spread awareness. The new, not-for-profit’s mission is to have research and initiatives in the agricultural community that help address challenges farmers face regarding wellness around the country.

At the conference, mental health groups, researchers, decision makers, agricultural associations and farmers came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding mental health across the nation. The inaugural National Symposium on Agricultural Mental Health conference was organized by the CCAW with The Guardian Network and was made possible with this funding. The Guardian Network is a volunteer suicide prevention network which supports Ontario’s farming community.

The Canadian government is continuing to look into how they can further support policies, programs and services that will help workers in the agricultural sector.

“Farmers have a very demanding job and deal with a lot of stress. Mental health issues are so often taboo in the sector, which is why initiatives like the ones created by the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing are so essential to open the dialogue and, ultimately, save lives,” said Bibeau.

“The Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing is very pleased to work in partnership with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada to develop evidence-based programming and supports for the well-being of Canadian farmers,” said Briana Hagen, CEO and lead scientist at the Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing. “Together, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing, will continue to eliminate barriers to accessing mental health services across the Country.”