If you’re feeling stressed and tired after the busyness of the holidays, you’re not alone. Add to that the regular stressors of farming – unpredictable weather, animal disease, financial pressure, heavy workloads, burden of paperwork/bureaucracy, media criticism, social isolation, etc. – and it can be a lot for anyone to handle.
Recent research confirms the impact this is having on farmers. In national surveys of Canadian farmers conducted by the University of Guelph, researchers found that mental health outcomes for the farming population are consistently poorer than the general public. To read more about this research, visit www.ajbresearch.com
Results from the 2021 survey of farmer mental health in Canada
The message here? Whatever you are feeling, you are not alone.
Farm equipment needs constant maintenance and fuel to run well. So does your body and brain – the most important tools on your farm. Reach out to friends and family for support and have a look at some of the resources listed here. There is a wide variety of support tools available including articles, podcasts, 24-7 confidential counseling support by text or phone, and a wellness dashbard to check in with yourself.
If it’s preferable to get anonymous support from peers who understand the unique stressors of farming, the Do More Agriculture Foundation recently launched a new online platform to specifically support farmer mental health in Canada. AgTalk is available 24/7 to those 16+ who live, work and play in the Canadian agricultural industry. The platform provides a safe and anonymous space for individuals to connect, share, and receive support from a community of peers who truly understand their unique experiences.