Supporting Farmers Through Tough Times
|Farmers||Theresa & Jason|
Farmers don’t just care for animals, sometimes they care for their animals before they care for themselves.
Canadian farmers produce some of the highest quality food in the world. It can be a very rewarding life, but it can also be life of selfless hard work. Farmers often work where they live and in many cases they are working alone. This means stepping away from the farm or taking a break is not an option. It is a livelihood that can be negatively affected by extreme weather and market variables beyond a farmer’s control. According to research conducted by the University of Guelph 45% of Canadian farmers are classified as living under high stress conditions and 58% met the criteria for anxiety classification, both stats reflect a higher overall number than that of the general population.
Theresa is a beef producer from the Interlake who is an advocate for mental wellness because she knows how stressful farm life can be. She’s actively helping to end the stigma attached to seeking support for mental health issues simply by talking about it. She and her family ranch together and have a very supportive circle of friends who also farm, so she wants to make sure others feel comfortable asking for help or talking to someone when they are feeling overwhelmed.
Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services provides 24-hour telephone and online counselling to farmers, rural and northern Manitobans. They offer free, confidential and non-judgemental support intended to help farmers in times of crisis.