Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has entered into a partnership with the Do More Agriculture (DMA) Foundation to create a network of mental health first aiders who can identify and support producers coping with difficult or unfortunate circumstances.
Under the one-year pilot project, FCC is contributing $50,000 to the not-for-profit foundation, focused on promoting mental health awareness and well-being in Canadian agriculture.
The funding will be used to facilitate mental health first aid training for producers and agriculture industry professionals in select communities across Canada. The training is aimed at raising mental health awareness and equipping participants with basic skills to provide assistance when help is not immediately available.
The training sessions will be delivered by accredited organizations and experts and offered at no cost.
“We are seeing the need for increased mental health support in agriculture and rural Canada, where people sometimes feel isolated and don’t always know who or where to turn to for help,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO.
“That’s why it’s important that we begin developing a network of people in rural Canada who have received training in identifying and supporting people suffering from a variety of mental illnesses and are able to connect them with mental health professionals.”
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.
“Producers are among the most vulnerable when it comes to mental health issues,” said Kim Keller, executive director for DMA. “By collaborating with FCC and other industry partners, we are raising awareness of mental health and increasing the number of people certified to provide support in rural communities across Canada.”
FCC will also be promoting mental health awareness at this year’s Farm Progress Show in Regina by offering information and services through an FCC wellness centre and an afternoon of mental health awareness speakers on June 21.
FCC is Canada’s leading agriculture lender, with a healthy loan portfolio of more than $33 billion. Our employees are dedicated to the future of Canadian agriculture and its role in feeding an ever-growing world. We provide flexible, competitively priced financing, management software, information and knowledge specifically designed for the agriculture and agri-food industry. Our profits are reinvested back into agriculture and the communities where our customers and employees live and work. Visit fcc.ca or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter @FCCagriculture.