The provincial government has partnered with Agriculture NB in an effort to help farmers and their mental health.

They’ll have access to new resources to help address the stress of operating a farm thanks to a new farm-focused mental health and safety initiative.

“Our farmers have one of the most important jobs in the province and also one of the most challenging and stressful,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “We must do whatever we can to assist them. This initiative will provide helpful tools and resources. We want our farmers to be safe, healthy and happy.”

A 2021 University of Guelph research study found that 76 percent of farmers were experiencing moderate or high perceived stress. In the same study, one in four Canadian farmers said they had thoughts of suicide over a 24-month period.

Funding was provided by the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries through the Canada-New Brunswick Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program.

A website has also been developed to easily access mental health and wellness training, tools, and resources. The material encourages farmers to take the first steps in maintaining mental fitness by recognizing when it may be time to reach out and talk to someone.

Agriculture NB, through the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick, has hired a mental health and farm safety co-ordinator who will work with other provincial co-ordinators and organizations to create, deliver and promote resources, workshops, information sessions, and material in both official languages for the agricultural community.