Producers across the prairies who suffer from depression and anxiety are being recognized this week by the Do More Ag Foundation.
The foundation has launched their campaign “It starts with me,” which highlights language used on the farm and how it can be improved for the mental health of those dealing with those issues.
Do More Ag co-founder Lesley Kelly said there are ways for people to take part in the conversation online.
“We’re encouraging those who want to be part of the conversation to share examples of how they changed the conversation around mental health, and use the #ItStartsWithMe hashtag.”
Kelly said common phrases heard in the Ag community may have led to a negative belief in themselves for farmers.
“We focus on how some popular things that we said like ‘suck it up,’ or ‘just get over it,’ those things have been part of our narrative since I can remember,” Kelly said. “This campaign focuses on the language, and how positive language creates positive outcomes.”
A researcher at the University of Guelph surveyed one thousand farmers, and found that a third of which had signs of depression, and half of which met criteria for anxiety.