Ontario Funding Expansion of Farmer Mental Health Program
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. Expanding In the Know to more communities will improve the quality and access to mental health services available to Ontario’s agricultural sector to ensure farmers, their families, and their employees have additional places to turn to when help is needed.
The In the Know program is an important mental health literacy program tailored to the needs of the agricultural community offered at 16 Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branches in rural and agricultural communities by approximately 30 facilitators. The expansion of the program to more branches will help improve access to mental health supports in rural areas, reduce the stigma around mental health, encourage more open discussion, and help connect the farm community with the resources and support they need.
Farmers have indicated in previous roundtables and conversations that they are more likely to open up about their mental health if they feel their counsellor or other mental health support understands the agricultural sector and the realities of farming. With the funding announced today, CHMA Ontario will also train and educate more mental health specialists on how they can better support farmers and the unique challenges they face.
In the Know was developed as a result of research at the University of Guelph funded, in part, by the Province of Ontario. It helps to build resilience in the agricultural sector and is a steppingstone to more in-depth initiatives.
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