Agriculture is more than a business. It is a way of life and it is made up of people. Farmers are deeply committed to the land, their animals, their families, and their rural communities. At the same time, farming can be one of the world’s most dangerous, risky and stressful occupations. So many factors are outside of one’s control in farming:
- high input costs
- low profit margins
- volatile markets
- government policies
- technological changes
- lack of a ‘safety net’ to name just a few…
When one’s business and way of life is threatened, stress levels can be dramatically high on the farm.
A recent national study has found that Canadian farmers are experiencing high levels of stress, burnout, depressive symptoms, and signs of anxiety. They also scored lower on norms of resilience (‘National Survey of Farmers Mental Health’, Dr Andria Jones-Bitton, 2016). At the same time, many farmers are not seeking help for stress or mental health concerns, citing stigma and a lack of accessible or appropriate ‘farm-friendly’ services as concerns.
Signs of Stress
When stress goes on for a long period of time it can lead to mental, emotional, behavioural and physical break-downs. It can have an adverse effect on one’s relationships and the farm business. It can also increase the risk of suicide. It pays to look after yourself and your loved ones when feeling stressed.
Our Counsellors understand both the joys and and the challenges of modern day farming. As farmers ourselves, we have walked a mile in your shoes. We know that speaking to someone who knows farming is important to you. Whether you are calling or chatting for yourself or a loved one, we are here to listen and support.
- Free and confidential (phone and online)