The pandemic has made life more difficult for many, but for farmers it has greatly added to existing uncertainties and stress. Yet farmers are less likely to seek the help of professionals — sometimes with devastating consequences.
To help, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario has launched the Guardian Network, a volunteer suicide prevention network which supports Ontario’s farming community.
The Guardian Network is a training program for people such as vets, breeders, seed or feed salespeople, financial institutions, and other community members who have direct contact with farm owner or operators. Guardians learn strategies and tools to recognize the signs of suicide and other mental health difficulties, so they can have conversations with farmers in distress and connect them to supportive resources.
Learn more about the program and how you can register to become a Guardian at GuardianNetwork.ca.
This project is provided with funding by the governments of Canada and Ontario, including support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Via the Guardian Network, and its sister programs, Farmer Wellness Initiative and In the Know, CMHA Ontario and partners aim to provide the Ontario farming community a variety of accessible mental health supports.