Press Release

(Tiffany Babcock-Robinson, Leonard Austin, Deborah Vanberkel, Resi Walt, Shane Smith)
 

New service for farmers seeking help for mental health

LAFA and community sponsors launch the L&A Farmer Wellness Program

February 11, 2019 Napanee, ON – The Lennox and Addington Federation of Agriculture (LAFA) is offering a new project to support local farmers. While celebrating Canada’s Agriculture Day, LAFA is launching a pilot project, the L&A Farmer Wellness Program, a service to provide accessible mental health counselling to meet the needs of farmers in Lennox and Addington county.

The services of the L&A Farmer Wellness Program will:

  • Be provided by a skilled and experienced counsellor in mental health treatment
  • Be strictly confidential
  • Accommodate farmers’ unique schedule and work load, by offering services during the day, evening & weekend
  • Offer sessions in person or telephone & video chat
  • Have flexible service delivery options, e.g. office or home appointments, other locations
  • Provide up to 3 sessions at no cost to OFA members in Lennox & Addington

LAFA would like to extend their appreciation to the many community organizations and businesses who have so generously donated funds to this project. If anyone would like to contribute to the project, cheques can be made out to Lennox and Addington Federation of Agriculture. Contact landafedag@outlook.com for details.

The agricultural industry is inherently stressful.  Farmers have a very demanding lifestyle that includes long and irregular hours, social isolation, physically demanding work and constant pressures such as weather, market fluctuations, and economic uncertainties.  This can sometimes feel overwhelming. 

Respondents to a national survey by the University of Guelph indicated that:

  • 58% of farmers experience symptoms of anxiety,
  • Almost half have high levels of stress
  • 35% have signs of depression
  • and 40% of producers said they’d be reluctant to get help because of fear about what others would think. 

LAFA is the local branch of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, representing 350 farm families in the county. Their mission is to represent and improve awareness of local agriculture for the benefit of members in Lennox and Addington

To access the service, farmers can call (613) 985-7233 or visit farmerwellnessprogram.ca for information

For more information, contact:

Resi Walt

resi.walt@ofa.on.ca

(613) 847-3037