Continuing the Conversation on Mental Health in Agriculture

Helping to Remove Stigma and Support Hopefulness

January 18, 2019


Woodstock – Ontario's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, today continued the conversation on mental health challenges suffered by farmers, launching a public service announcement video encouraging farmers to help address the stigma that still surrounds mental health.

"We care about the well-being of our farmers and farm families. We want them to know it's OK to reach out for help when daily struggles become too much to bear," said Hardeman.

Farmers face unique mental health challenges associated with running a farm business. As part of the awareness campaign, Hardeman held his second roundtable of the month, in Woodstock today, with members of the agricultural community. The first roundtable took place on January 7 in Guelph.

Featuring Minister Hardeman and University of Guelph researcher Dr. Andria Jones-Bitton, the video encourages farmers to help address the stigma that still surrounds mental health and to use available resources that can make a difference. An audio version of the PSA will be distributed to media.

"Farming can be a tough business, one that sometimes takes a toll on farmers and their families. We want people to stand up and talk about it," said Hardeman. "We're looking to highlight resources available to help farming and rural communities."

This is part of the government's commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy. This is the biggest commitment to mental health in provincial history.

The government will continue to make mental health a priority and work toward creating an Ontario where everyone is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness.

"I want to thank the farmers and local leaders who participated in our mental health roundtable today in Woodstock. They openly shared so much about their own personal experience, and were generous with their thoughts and suggestions. I'm encouraged by their commitment to help tackle this issue and support hopefulness," Hardeman said.

Additional Resources

Resources are listed on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website

Jeff Wigle, Director of Communications, Minister's Office, 416-326-3067    

Bianca Jamieson, Communications Branch, 519-826-3145

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300