‘In the Know’ mental health workshop for agricultural community set for Nov. 17

PALMERSTON – The Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington Dufferin is hosting an event here to promote mental health awareness in the agricultural community.

“In the Know” is a mental health awareness program for farmers and the agricultural community. Participants will have the opportunity expand their knowledge about mental health, including topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, suicide and substance misuse.

“Participants will learn how to recognize their own challenges and those of others. Discussion will include ways to seek help and how to open up a conversation about mental health and well-being,” organizers state in an Oct. 20 press release.

In the Know is aimed at farmers, producers and persons with whom they have regular contact, including family members, peers and allies in the agricultural industry such as veterinarians, breeders, seed or feed salespeople, financial institutions, accountants or other community members.

Last month, the Ontario government committed more than $385,000 to help expand the program, which is offered through Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) branches in rural and agricultural communities by approximately 30 facilitators.

The expansion of the program to more branches is designed to improve access to mental health supports in rural areas, reduce the stigma around mental health, encourage more open discussion, and help connect the farm community with the resources and support they need, provincial agriculture ministry officials stated in a Sept. 27 press release.

The local event is set for Nov. 17 from 11am to 3pm (box lunch provided) at the Palmerston Legion, 260 Daly St.

Sponsored by the Grand River Agricultural Society, the no-cost workshop will be limited to 20 participants. All public health guidelines will be followed, organizers state.

The workshop is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

For more information/registration, contact suicidecouncilwd@cmhaww.ca or 519-239-8902.

Community News Staff