Farming is hard work – and faced with more and more extreme weather events, labour shortages, and market volatility, research is showing that farmers are facing higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general Canadian population, a situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or a loved one are struggling, there is help available. We’ve compiled a variety of resources for farmers in Western Canada, in the hopes this can provide a starting point for learning more about the services and tools available for yourself and loved ones.

CANADA | ALBERTA | SASKATCHEWAN | MANITOBA | BRITISH COLUMBIA | EDUCATION

CANADA WIDE RESOURCES

Canadian Centre for Agricultural Wellbeing Brings together leaders in the agricultural mental health field to conduct cutting-edge research to develop evidence-based community-informed programming and education to address wellbeing-related challenges amongst Canadian farmers.

Do More Agriculture Foundation: A not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada. They offer peer-to-peer support that is available 24/7 to those 16+ who work in the agricultural industry. 

Emergency Response Model for Mental Health During Agricultural Crises: This document outlines evidence-informed recommendations for attending to farmer mental health during times of agricultural crisis (e.g. animal disease outbreak) or disaster (e.g. barn fire). 

Farm Credit Canada: Provide an assessment tool, and resources to help support your mental health. You can also read their Rooted in Strength: Taking Care of our Families and Ourselves report, which looks at farmer mental health.

Farm Management Canada: Their mental health & farm business management page includes a report on the connection between farm management and mental health.

4-H Canada’s Healthy Living Initiative: Includes a series of resources and activities regarding farming and mental health.

Rural Mental Health Wellness Toolkit by the Sitgma-Free Society: Inside this toolkit, you will find engaging resources for audiences including youth, families, and seniors.

Women in Agriculture: A report on understanding stress in the farming industry for women.

Wellness Together: Mental health resources and substance use supports for people in Canada. Free and virtual, 24/7.

ALBERTA

AgKnow: Connects you to a community of service providers and resources to support you and your family.

Kickstand Connect: A free, confidential virtual clinic tailor-made for young Albertans.

Calgary Counselling Centre: Provides rural telehealth at a reduced cost.

Alberta Mental Health Help Line:  24/7 mental health helpline .

SASKATCHEWAN

Farm Stress Line: Offers 24/7 crisis counseling.

Ecostress Sask: Offers free 8-week group sessions to discuss distress caused by environmental threats and losses.

Mobile Crisis Services: Crisis helpline and mental health services.

HealthLine 811: 24/7 confidential mental health support.

MANITOBA

Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program: Offers free short-term counseling delivered by professionals with backgrounds in agriculture.

Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services: Offers free counseling for Manitoba farmers.

Manitoba Suicide Prevention and Support Line: Confidential 24/7 suicide prevention and support hotline.

BRITISH COLUMBIA

AgSafe Mental Wellness Resources: Includes a crisis hotline and mental health resources.

BC Crisis Centre: Provides 24/7 crisis support, suicide prevention and postvention.

BC Government Virtual Mental Health Supports: Virtual services are available for British Columbians who are experiencing anxiety, depression or other mental health challenges.

EDUCATION

Looking for courses to take to support others in your community?  

Mental Health First Aid Canada: Provides courses to help people developing a mental health problem, experiencing a mental health crisis or a worsening of their mental health. 

National Farmer Mental Health Alliance: Mental health services and training tailored to farmers.

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Mental Health and Wellness Program: SIIT’s Mental Health and Wellness program is suited for those who wish to help people achieve wellness and value the work of healing.

Know of other resources you think should be added to this page? Reach out to network@youngagrarians.org.

Sources:

Regeneration Canada: https://regenerationcanada.org/en/directory-mental-health-resources-for-farmers/

National Farmers Union: https://www.nfu.ca/help/