Mental Health Workshops At OFA Annual Meeting

Debunking myths about mental health in agriculture was a hot topic at the Ontario Federation of Agriculture’s recent annual general meeting.

A recent study on the mental health of Canadian farmers found 35% of them report feelings of depression.

Debra Pretty-Straathof is a director with the OFA and talks about a workshop at the AGM, ‘Down on the Farm: Myths and Reality of Mental Health in Agriculture’.

“OFA’s workshop helped participants understand why it’s so important to talk about mental health more openly and discuss how the illness can impact farmers,” said Pretty Straathof. “Unfortunately, stigma and attitudes surrounding mental health are still huge barriers, especially in the workplace and in agriculture, making it difficult for those struggling with their mental health or caring for someone who is. The workshop addressed nine myths including ‘farmers don’t get depressed’, ‘mental health is an excuse for poor behaviour’ and ‘personality flaws cause mental health’.”

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