The Ontario government is committing more than $385,000 to expand “In the Know”, a mental health literacy program tailored to support the well-being of the farming community.
The investment will expand the service from 16 Canadian Mental Health Associations, but the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs news release did not say how many more.
There are 30 facilitators working in the 15 associations.
Farmers work hard to feed the province and support the economy.
However, stigma around mental health and lack of services in rural Ontario are big contributing factors as to why many people in the farming community dealing with a mental illness choose not to seek help.
“I know first-hand how stressful owning and running a farm can be, and this has been a particularly difficult year and a half for farmers. In addition to normal stressors — including the changing weather, commodity prices, pests and diseases — farmers have had to deal with the added complexities of COVID-19,” said Ontario Agriculture Minister.
The In the Know program is a mental health literacy program tailored to the needs of the agricultural community.