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New Tools To Help Farmers Cope with Stresses Expected by Year End
Briana Hagen - University of Guelph

Farmscape for May 11, 2018

New tools being developed by the University of Guelph will help farmers better recognize and deal with the unique stresses they face in their work on the farm.
This summer researchers with the University of Guelph plan to pilot test a new training program designed help farmers increase their ability to cope with stress and improve their mental well being.
Briana Hagen, a PhD Candidate in epidemiology with the University of Guelph, says the goal of the pilot testing is to make sure the training program is able to improve knowledge about mental health and wellness.

Clip-Briana Hagen-University of Guelph:
In 2015 and 2016 our research group here did a Canada wide survey of farmers that assessed the level of stress, anxiety and burnout faced by farmers and what we found was that farmers are reporting higher levels of stress, anxiety and burnout compared to the general population based on our survey results.
That was a national survey.
The second part of our research is looking at what impacts stress, what are factors that are making our farmers report higher levels of stress.
What we found in the epi-data that we collected was things like financial strain, issues with support from family or friends or perceived support from family and friends, those can all impact levels of stress and then some co-morbidities or co-occurrence of things like depression and anxiety can impact stress.
What we're currently working on in partnership with our working group, which includes farmers and people working with farmers like veterinarians and industry representatives is looking at building up mental health literacy and developing some things specifically for the agricultural community, so not just something that's used in the general population.
What we found was that that was not specific enough to be relatable back to the agricultural community so we're now developing the content of the mental health literacy training specifically for farmers.

Hagen says the hope is to launch the new program by the end of this year.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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