Government puts spotlight on mental health in agricultural sector

Debt, isolation among stressors, but resources available for farmers
By John Dujay
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 08/13/2019
Tractor
A shortage of workers is one of the many stressors experienced by Canadian farmers, leading to mental health issues. Credit: Chukov (Shutterstock)

For Adelle Stewart, life on a ranch in Saskatchewan can be highly stressful.

“When you wake up and you go outside and you have a plan to do x, y, z and you have a fence down and the animals are gone, or you have a hailstorm roll through and everything that you have planned for that day could be catastrophically changed for the worse… you have to continue to adjust to that,” said Stewart, executive director of the Do More Agriculture Foundation in Saskatoon, Sask. 

The stress and mental health challenges of life on a farm were recently recognized nationally by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, which issued the report Mental Health: A Priority for Our Farmers in May.