Mental health in the agriculture industry has recently become a topic of growing concern. Farmers face a unique set of challenges, such as weather conditions, crop infestation, animal disease, market volatility, and more. Often these issues are out of farmers’ control, yet directly affect their livelihoods and can negatively impact their well-being.
Research shows that rates of stress, mental health issues and suicide are higher among farmers as compared to the general population. A 2016 study by the University of Guelph showed that approximately 45 per cent of farmers have high stress, while 58 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively, experience anxiety and depression. In addition, 67 per cent of producers are more susceptible to chronic stress than the general population, which can lead to physical and mental illnesses.
Furthermore, the many constant demands, pressures and time constraints that come with this line of work often make farmers and producers put their work ahead of their well-being. Living in rural areas and social stigma are also among the factors that make receiving treatment and accessing services more difficult.
To help farmers with ways to manage mental health or addiction concerns, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division has collaborated with agricultural leaders to develop this webpage to make it easier for farmers to find support when and where they need it. This page includes CMHA-specific programs and services, agriculture industry-curated resources, and provincial and national crisis supports.
If you are in crisis and require immediate assistance, please call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600, contact your doctor, go to your local hospital, or call 911.