Sandi Brock farms grain and sheep, and was a keynote speaker at the Grey-Bruce Farmer's Week on mental health after losing a close friend herself. (Photo by Kirk Scott)

Mental health a focus for Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week

A focus of this year’s Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week is on mental health in agriculture.

A keynote speaker at Saturday’s session was Sandi Brock, a woman from the Hensall area who is dealing with grief after the loss of a close friend.

Brock described her difficulties and said farmers are constantly dealing with loss, whether it’s through an accident, health, loss of crops or loss of business.

“We experience loss so much that I think we’re having a problem in our industry to actually realize that that’s what it is,” she said. “That a lot of us I think it sneaks up on us when we least expect it and we don’t know how to walk through it.”

Brock said dealing with loss can be traumatic for farmers and they don’t always realize it.

“The problem with farming, if we lose the job that we are doing we lose not only that job but we lose our identity because as farmers we associate ourselves as a farmer not necessarily as someone that does farm work,” she said.

Brock stressed that she is not a mental health professional, and only hopes by relating her experience it will somehow help people cope.

Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week in Elmwood continues through Thursday.