Province offers more funding for mental health of Ontario's farmers
The provincial government is investing $385,000 to help support the mental health of farmers in Ontario.
The money will go towards the "In the Know" program, which supports the well-being of the agriculture community.
The announcement was made at Herle's in St. Agatha. In the Know was designed by researchers at the University of Guelph.
“I know first-hand how stressful owning and running a farm can be, and this has been a particularly difficult year and a half for farmers. In addition to normal stressors — including the changing weather, commodity prices, pests and diseases — farmers have had to deal with the added complexities of COVID-19,” said Lisa Thompson, minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, in a news release. “Our investment to expand the In the Know program will help more people in the province’s farming community access the supports they need to when they need it.”
The program is offered at 16 Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branches in rural communities across the province. The province says the latest funding will bring In the Know to more communities across Ontario.
The news release says farmers have told the province they're more willing to open up about their own mental health if their counsellor understands agriculture and the demands of farming. The CMHA said some of the money will help train more mental health specialists on support Ontario's farmers.
The CMHA has additional resources for farmers who may need mental health assistance.