Producers and their families can now learn how to successfully talk about mental health thanks to Do More Agriculture Foundation’s (Do More Ag) new awareness campaign, ‘Embracing the Awkward.’
The goal of ‘Embracing the Awkward’ is, “to break the barriers when it comes to talking about mental health in agriculture,” according to Michaela Braaten, the company’s administrative coordinator.
“We know it can be hard, and awkward to speak about mental health. We’ve all felt it, when we want to reach out to someone and we’re unsure of how to ask or talk to them about how they are doing, unsure how to push past the awkwardness to connect and support,” Braaten continued.
75 per cent of farmers have mid to high stress levels, according to a report from Farm Management Canada.
In 2017, Andria Jones-Bitton from the University of Guelph conducted a survey of 1,100 producers from across Canada. The results found 35 per cent of Canadian producers could be classified as depressed and 58 per cent of producers meet the criteria for anxiety.
These numbers show the work Do More Agriculture Foundation does can positively impact the lives of producers.
“Agriculture is an industry steeped in hard work and resilience; these traits can make it hard for producers to talk about mental health. We want to help break down the barriers surrounding talking about mental health and work together to end the stigma that keeps people from reaching out when they need support and/or starting a conversation with someone they think is struggling,” shared Megz Reynolds, Executive Director of Do More Ag.
Radio/podcast scripts, social cards and printed media will be available as part of the campaign.
For more information on the Do More Agriculture Foundation, visit their official website.
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