The Lambton Federation of Agriculture is hosting an event Feb. 27

Two Lambton County ag organizations are hosting a mental health workshop at the end of February.

The Lambton Federation of Agriculture and the Lambton Farm Safety Association will host Opening the Conversational Doors to Mental Health on Feb. 27 at the Wyoming Legion in Wyoming, Ont.

The free event will feature speakers from counselling organizations. A producer will also share her first-hand stories of dealing with mental health issues, said George Dickenson, a dairy farmer who sits on the boards for the ag federation and safety association.

“One speaker is Christy Hiemstra,” he told “She and her family have a farm in the Aylmer area and they lost a 17-year-old son to suicide. She’s been an advocate to get people talking about mental health.

Christy Hiemstra/Facebook photo

“Another speaker is Danielle Stewart from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. She’s a certified mental health first aid instructor. The other speaker is Lauren Van Ewyk from Wellspring Counselling Services.”

The increased focus on mental health represents a significant change in society.

Dickenson, 61, can recall a time when conversations about mental health weren’t had in public.

“We understand now that mental health is part of overall health,” he said. “In many industries, not just agriculture, mental health was swept under the carpet and wasn’t talked about. There’s an understanding now that we need to talk about mental health and we’re accepting of the fact that we need to talk about it.”

The free event is scheduled for Feb. 27 at the Wyoming Legion at 493 Erie Street. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and presentations will get under way around 7:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in more information can contact the Lambton Federation of Agriculture or send an email to [email protected].

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

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