PRESS RELEASESaskatchewan, Sept. 14, 2020 – Year two of the rural mental health training program presented by the Do More Agriculture Foundation (DMA) and Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has wrapped up with an overwhelming positive response from the agriculture community.
This year, over 450 people across 24 communities attended one of the two training programs offered at zero cost to participants. The program is aimed at educating community members in identifying mental health concerns and how to provide initial support to producers coping with difficult or unfortunate circumstances. Adelle Stewart, Executive Director of DMA said this program fulfills many of the foundation’s priorities which are to provide education, support and resources to the agriculture industry. “In partnership with FCC, DMA is proud to offer programs to the agriculture industry that help to increase mental health literacy, help to change the conversation about mental health and build capacity within families and communities.”
New this year was the addition of a half day interactive workshop/webinar specialized in mental health in agriculture, developed by DMA. A recent report, Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms by Farm Management Canada identified that “farmers are more likely to participate in support programs offered by providers familiar with agriculture and cater to the unique needs of farmers.” The “Talk, Ask, Listen” workshop was created to bridge this gap and provide mental health training programs that are specific to the experiences of producers. The workshop provides information on topics such as the signs and symptoms of mental illness, anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse, what support looks like, how to have conversations with someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, how to support yourself, and self care.
In addition to the funding provided by FCC and local businesses across Canada, the program relies on “Community Leaders” to apply on behalf of their community to bring the program to their rural area. They work directly with DMA and the facilitators to organize and market the training.
Stewart adds, “We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support this year, not only from FCC but from many local and regional agri-businesses as well. And of course, the entire initiative wouldn't be possible without the effort and support of the Community Leaders who applied to bring this training to their area. We are very excited to continue this partnership with FCC and agri-businesses across Canada to provide the industry with more training, mental health literacy, support and resources.”
The “Talk, Ask, Listen” workshop has gained positive feedback since its launch. One participant’s feedback stated, “Not only will I be able to use what I have learned today at work but in every aspect of my daily life. I will also be speaking with my four children on the highlights of this course and why it is so important not only for me but them as well. In today's society mental health can be at any age.”
In total since the launch of the Community Fund in 2019, over 670 participants have completed the program.
Applications to bring the training to your community for 2021 will open in October. The fund is open to all rural agriculture communities across Canada.
For more information about the fund: https://www.domore.ag/how-to-do-more
FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture and food lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $38 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and food. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and food industries. As a self-sustaining Crown corporation, we provide an appropriate return to our shareholder, and reinvest our profits back into the industries and communities we serve. For more information, visit fcc.ca.
DMA was established in January 2018 to promote mental health awareness, well-being, and research, as well as to empower Canadian producers to take care of their mental well-being through education, training and public awareness. The foundation is also dedicated to creating a community of belonging, support and resources on mental health issues. Visit us at www.domore.ag
About Do More Ag Foundation:
For more information, please contact:
The Do More Agriculture Foundation