FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 8, 2019
Raising Awareness about Mental Health in Farming Helping to Remove Stigma and Support Hopefulness BRANTFORD – Ontario’s Government has launched a public awareness campaign to highlight available resources to support farmer’s mental health and encourage them to seek help when they need it. The campaign began on January 7, 2019.
MPP Will Bouma made the announcement today on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman.
“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. We want them to know they’re not alone and it’s OK to reach out for help,” said Bouma.
As part of the campaign, Minister Hardeman held a roundtable with members of the agricultural community and had a candid discussion on mental health issues in the sector on January 7, 2019.
“Farming can be a tough business, one that sometimes takes a toll on farmers and their families and yet we all know people who have been reluctant to ask for help,” said Hardeman. “We want to address the stigma that still surrounds mental health, and help people find the resources that can make a difference.”
Several stress mitigation resources are available, including Ontario’s province-wide Mental Health Helpline (1-866-531-2600), Crisis Line (211) and Distress Centres. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs also supports a number of programs to help farmers, including research to evaluate mental health needs for farmers and farm business risk management programs to cover loss and damage.
This is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. This is the biggest commitment to mental health in provincial history.
The province will continue to make mental health a priority and work toward creating an Ontario where everyone is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness.
“If you are a farmer who is having mental health challenges we encourage you to reach out for help. You are not alone,” said MPP Bouma.
For more information, contact MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361 or [email protected]