Recognition of how such stress is managed has changed over the years and the calls have grown to establish systems to deal with mental health issues for those in the ag sector.
 | Getty Images

Farming already stressful before drought

Drought has been an issue for farmers and ranchers since the first field was plowed and the first domesticated herd was rounded up. Along with drought comes the inevitable stress that adverse growing conditions can put on people. Recognition of how such stress is managed has changed over the years and the calls have grown […] Read more

Todd and Jack Rennebohm look at the book Todd wrote to help children cope when their parents deal with mental health challenges. | Christalee Froese photo

Despair turns into kids’ book about mental health

After hitting rock bottom, including a suicide attempt, Sask. man writes book to help children with mentally ill parents

INDIAN HEAD, Sask. — It was a very dark night that eventually led Todd Rennebohm out into the light. In the middle of a drinking and smoking binge in his garage, Rennebohm began thinking about how his kids, then aged 10 and 12, viewed his emotional struggles. Rock bottom had come after many challenges with […] Read more

Madyson Dempsey would like to see more education made available about the mental health issues facing farmers. | Supplied photo

Mental health issues continue to be a struggle in agriculture

Mental health is an important issue for the agricultural community. As someone who struggles with my own mental health, I know it is a big problem that affects people in many ways. When you think of farming and agriculture, the words wheat, farmers, animals and food come to mind. People do not think about the […] Read more

Cynthia Beck, a master’s student in clinical psychology at the University of Regina, is offering a course this summer that incorporates mental health resources for people in the agriculture sector. She lives on a farm near Milestone, Sask. | U of R/Trevor Hopkin photo

Farmers offered mental health help

The eight-week Wellbeing Course is offered through the University of Regina’s Online Therapy Unit and tailored for ag

When Cynthia Beck faced her own mental health challenges on the farm, she discovered a lack of support for people in agriculture. Years later, she’s providing that needed support through her research as a clinical psychology master’s student at the University of Regina. “The people working in agriculture, that’s the population who feed us, and […] Read more

Lesley and Matt Kelly have faced criticism for going public about their struggles with mental health. | Lesley Kelly photo

Farmer shares struggles with mental health

Lesley Kelly learned from her dad what it really means to be a successful farmer. “He told me that if you want to be successful, it isn’t about how much land you have or the type of equipment you drive,” she said. “It’s about how we work together, and how we take care of each […] Read more

Suicide is the second leading cause for death in young people between the ages of 15 and 24. | Getty Images

Important to act on information about suicidal thoughts

Q: Last Thursday our daughter came home from school very upset. Apparently, one of her classmates took our daughter aside and told her that she was seriously considering suicide. The young girl in question insisted that our daughter swear confidence. This was to be a secret. In fact, our daughter tried to honour the commitment […] Read more

The National Farmers Union argues the economic and farming models that producers accepted as a pathway to advancement are failing the majority of them, leading to higher stress and more fragile mental health.  | Getty Images

Mental health has economic roots

Prince Edward Island agriculture minister Bloyce Thompson said recently that more Island farmers are reaching out for mental health support through the P.E.I. Farmers Assistance Program. He noted that the number of calls in 2019 was 140, increasing to 293 in 2020. Thompson said navigating a hot, dry summer during the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult […] Read more

Psychologists are suggesting that those who do daily exercises (jogging, walk-ing, biking, running, swimming, for example) are less likely to let either their depression or their sadness drive them into despair. | Getty Images

Exercise important way to fight depression

Q: Early last fall our son was discharged from the psychiatric unit of a larger hospital in the city. He was 32 at the time, old enough and mature enough to be on his own, but we were worried about his well-being and asked him to stay with us until he was more settled and […] Read more

A recent demonstration shows how a program developed in the province can help farmers manage their stress levels. | Screencap via

Mental health app unveiled in Sask.

A recent demonstration shows how a program developed in the province can help farmers manage their stress levels

Avail: a mental health app was created with farmers and ranchers in mind. It’s a comprehensive and personalized health tool to encourage and help producers manage their stress. Aptly named, the mobile app was officially announced and demonstrated during a recent webinar. Bridges Health is a wellness firm based in Saskatoon with a focus on […] Read more

Living in downtown Ottawa, I wrongly assumed mental health supports would be easy to access. They weren’t. | Getty Images

Governments must continue to improve supports for mental health

Government efforts to improve mental health supports for Canadians should be improved. Every year, Bell “Let’s Talk Day” is welcomed with kind messages from people, including politicians, encouraging folks to take care of themselves and each other. Agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau did just that this Jan. 28. In a news release, Bibeau says workers in […] Read more