Governments invest in mental health and wellness in the Manitoba agriculture sector
January 24, 2024 By Top Crop Manager
The Canada and Manitoba governments through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP) are investing $450,000 over three years toward the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program (MFWP) to provide access to professional counselling services to Manitoba’s agricultural community.
The program is different from other mental health services available, as it is rooted in agriculture and the counsellors are familiar with the unique stressors of managing an agri-business, such as seasonality of operations, impact of extreme climate events, global and market fluctuations and the dynamics of rural living.
“This new investment will allow the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program to continue our important work of providing free counselling to Manitoba producers, their families and workers,” says Marcel Hacault, chairman of the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program. “We understand the many challenges that come with farming and how difficult it can be to know where to turn for help when stress on the farm begins to feel overwhelming. This funding will allow us to continue our focus on getting the support producers need without the worry of incurring additional costs.”
The Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program, a non-profit organization launched in 2022, addresses the mental health of farmers, farm families and farm workers through access beyond crisis intervention to longer-term counselling support that help prevent mental health crisis.
The funding will support MFWP to ensure a consistent and professional service delivery and a standardized onboarding for new counsellors. MFWP works with over 32 industry partners to promote mental wellness and coping strategies and resilience.