Mental health first aid funding announced for rural communities

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Starting today, if you live in a rural community and want to take a mental health first-aid course, there will be funding provided.

The Do More Agriculture foundation (DMAF) along with Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will be giving rural community members the opportunity to apply for funding if you’re interested in organizing mental health first aid training in your community.

The two-day course, run by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, focuses on how you can support a person who lives with depression and/or anxiety, or how to identify signs of suicide risk and how to intervene, and how to provide aid to a person who’s having a panic attack, for example.

Co-founder of DMAF, Lesley Rae Kelly, says there’s a high chance you know what to do when someone has a sprained ankle, but when it comes to a mental health crisis, such as a panic attack, there’s less chance you would know how to react or help. That’s why Do More Ag wants to provide this program, along with the help from FCC.

In its news release, DMAF states that 35 per cent of farmers meet the definition of depression classification, 45 per cent of farmers report having high stress, and 58 per cent meet the definition for anxiety classification, according to a survey about mental health within Canadian producers from the University of Guelph. The survey also found the majority of farmers felt mental health resources in their community were inadequate.

If you or someone you know wants to organize a mental health first aid program in your community, click here for more information.