As a minority group in Ontario, under-represented in the study of mental health, OFA believes farmers’ mental health deserves special attention and the investment of long-term, dedicated funding from all levels of government.
Federal and provincial governments must work collaboratively to fully implement the 10 recommendations from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food's report, Mental Health: A Priority for our Farmers.
The Ontario farm community needs accessible and culturally relevant mental health resources and training to promote wellness and build resilience to withstand the enormous occupational stresses they face. We have a tremendous opportunity to build a sustainable approach to research, develop evidence-based programming, and create awareness and support specific for farmer mental health.
List of Recommendations from the Report
Examine the process of agricultural audits and labour reviews to:
- reduce stress and disruption to producers and employees
- consider relevant practical experience when hiring and assigning auditors
OFA supports farmers and farm families towards balanced mental health and acknowledge the causes of mental health challenges are many, complicated, and do not come with a quick or easy solution. OFA understands the challenges of farming and that they can take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing.
OFA recognizes the challenge of mental health in agriculture is a complex and multi-factorial issue and believe it requires a comprehensive and coordinated, long-term approach. Through advocacy and support, OFA will work to help reduce the barriers to improved mental health and resilience within our agricultural community.