Tuesday
Jul172018

Let's Talk About Mental Health 

This month’s AgExpert post is a little different. Instead of focusing on spreadsheets and ratios, we’re turning our attention to the people side of agriculture – to everyone who loves this business as much as we do.

 

This unpredictable, amazing industry

Here’s a rhetorical question for you: Have you ever noticed how volatile and complex agriculture is? It’s so unpredictable. The difference between profit and loss can depend on the smallest of factors – a little rain, a ripple in trade, a slight increase in cost. It’s especially hard when the factors are out of your control, yet the decisions still fall to you. It feels like make-or-break time.

 

A commitment to all producers

Hard work, resilience, strength and a sense of community have always been the hallmarks of life on the farm, but there are also times when producers feel frustrated and anxious. We’ve seen the scenario play out. We know it sometimes results in the worst possible outcome. That’s why we’re determined to help end the stigma of speaking out.

 

Talk more. Ask more. Listen more.

You may recall that in June we announced our partnership with Do More Agriculture. This foundation champions the mental well-being of Canadian producers and is working to help all producers feel encouraged, supported and empowered. Its founders are spotlighting a discussion that has been in the shadows for far too long. Their proposal is simple – talk, ask, listen – and reminds us we don’t have to go it alone.

 

Take action now

So, if you’re reading this and thinking, “That sounds like my neighbour,” or “I’m feeling some of those things,” please act now. Connect to the Do More Ag site for a list of people whose job it is to help, on the phone or by email. If you or someone you love is feeling stressed, angry, hopeless or isolated and is struggling, don’t ignore it. Talk about it. Suggest a visit for coffee, or even a trip to the local clinic. And if you sense there’s immediate risk, go to an emergency room or call 911.

 

Please, reach out when you need to and listen to others when you can. Let’s all take care of each other.

 

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