Saskatchewan—The Do More Agriculture Foundation, a not-for-profit championing mental health in agriculture, launched its first awareness campaign called “It Starts with Me.” The campaign highlights that changing the narrative around mental health starts with each of us personally. The campaign aims to: reduce stigmas, understand that each of us plays a role, and inspire those in agriculture to take care of their mental well-being.
“We each can promote change by making small adjustments to our internal and external language. We often don’t think about how the language we use can impact mental health,” explains Do More Agriculture Foundation co-founder Kim Keller. “Language is a powerful tool. Positive language creates positive outcomes, improves communication, and increases our confidence. This campaign aims to inspire reflection and encourage people to participate in their own way.”
“It Starts with Me” identifies common phrases heard or spoken within the agriculture community and suggests alternative language. The campaign highlights how a simple statement like ‘just get over it’ can be rephrased to a more supportive statement like ‘It might not be easy, but it’s okay to get help.’ The campaign also highlights internal dialogue and encourages people to be kinder to themselves.
Last year, Dr. 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.
Mental health is part of all of us. NOW is the time we change the conversation about mental health. Language matters. Choose yours.
Learn more at domore.ag. See examples and share stories using #ItStartsWithMe.