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Partner with AgSafe Alberta on Farm Mental Health Workshops

AgSafe Alberta is looking for partners to deliver up to 30 “In the Know” workshops to rural Alberta locations or through virtual delivery. In the Know is a mental health literacy program developed specifically for the agriculture community. The sessions take about 4 hours to complete and are facilitated by trained mental health professionals from the agriculture community.

In the Know is designed to promote participants wellbeing, help them learn about mental health and illness, teach them to recognized when someone is struggling and how to respond. At the end of the training participants will be able to:

  • Describe stress, anxiety, depression, acute trauma, suicide and substance abuse

  • Recognize signs and symptoms of mental distress

  • Describe approaches for engaging in safe conversations about mental health with someone who may be struggling

  • Identify appropriate people and/or organizations that can provide help/support/resources for someone who may be struggling

In the Know differs from other agriculture focused mental health literacy courses in that it is researched and continues to be evaluated and improved by researchers at the University of Guelph. Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton from the U of G submitted findings from a national farmer mental health study to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food that contributed to “Mental Health: A Priority for Our Farmers” report given in the House of Commons by the Standing Committee in 2019. The Standing Committee report recognizes the uniqueness of agriculture and the need for mental health supports tailored to farm communities. Since this report there have been many different mental health responses aimed at the farming community across Canada one of which was the development and delivery of In the Know workshops.

One of the key outcomes of the workshop is to increase help-seeking among farmers. Results from the In the Know pilot showed that the course increased participants mental health knowledge, gave them the confidence to recognize mental health struggles in themselves and others and empowered them to speak up and help.

AgSafe Alberta will be targeting farmer participants, the workshop may also interest persons who are in regular contact with farmers like accountants, ag retail staff, veterinarians, financial institutions or other community members. By delivering workshops that are connected to ongoing research that is contributing to the national discussion on farm mental health, AgSafe Alberta hopes these workshops will keep the discussion around this important topic current, and lead to long term investment in mental health supports for the Alberta farming community.

If your organization would like to partner with AgSafe Alberta to deliver an In the Know workshop in your area, please contact admin@agsafeab.ca.

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