An $8 million investment will help Ontario farmers continue to have access to three mental health support programs, and further promote these services to the province’s farming community.
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The Farmer Wellness Initiative, the In the Know program and the Guardian Network will be sharing the funding, the bulk of which will be provided through Sustainable CAP ($7.03 million). The provincial government is contributing $1.08 million from its Roadmap to Wellness initiative, aimed at building a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system in Ontario, according to a provincial government release.
The mental health initiatives receiving funding are designed to meet the unique mental health needs of farmers and their families and are delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division.
To ensure more people in the agricultural community know about the supports available to them, a new promotional initiative is being launched called the Sowing the Seeds of Wellness Initiative. It will make promotional materials available to eligible general farm and commodity organizations for use and display at member events.
Funding will also be available over the next two years so organizations can produce customized materials, engage speakers, and/or develop other promotional activities that will provide farmers and their families with mental health-related information.