Dry conditions, wildfires and flooding have teamed up to make 2023 a hard year for some Alberta producers. Many are facing tough decisions and that makes this difficult year even more stressful and challenging.
It’s important to realize no matter our situation, support and understanding is available. There is incredible generosity and support in the agriculture industry and rural communities. Let’s be willing to ask for help when we need it, knowing there are great people around us.
Support for mental health and stress management is increasing in agriculture. While there is opportunity for further progress, there has been an increased focus on producers’ mental health, amazing advocacy from our communities, along with new and added resources for producers in recent years.
Here are a few specifically geared towards producers.
- AgKnow offers two free counselling/therapy sessions with knowledgeable resource providers familiar with the agriculture industry and tips and strategies
- Do More Ag tips, strategies, and resource listing
- Rural Distress Line 1-800-232-7288
- Farm Debt Mediation 1-866-452-5556
There are also general resource options such as:
- Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line (24/7) 1-877-303-2642
- Talk Suicide Canada (24/7) 1-833-456-4566
- Counselling Alberta free access to counselling without a waitlist
- Money Mentors or Credit Counselling Society debt consolidation and credit counselling
- 211 directory and live chat to find services and supports in your community
Each of us will experience stress in our lifetimes. A common suggestion for stress management is to focus on what we can control. Unfortunately, stress can be particularly challenging for farmers and ranchers because so many of the major stressors are inherently outside of your control.
It’s okay to not be okay and to struggle. Being a producer is stressful, but there are opportunities for support and help. Things can get better.
The information and resources provided in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are in crisis, please visit your local emergency department or call 911