Farming is hard work, but can be rewarding work. And it can come with an incredible amount of stress from a variety of sources, many of which are uncontrollable. They may be widespread situations that many farm operations are impacted by ... A bad year of weather. A bad year for the markets. A global pandemic. Or the stressors may be more localized ... A disease in your herd. Problems with farm equipment. Strained family relationships. A difficult financial situation.
All of these lead to stress on those who are dealing with situation and those that they are close to, including spouses, children, siblings, and parents. As stress increases, our ability to manage the stress decreases and the impact on our mental health can be significant. The message to be strong, to buck up, that reaching out is weak has limited many of those who need support from seeking help. If the cows are sick, you call the vet. If the tractor is down, you call the mechanic. When we are struggling with our mental health, we call a therapist. And I know that call can be hard.
I grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario and know some of those challenges first hand. When I was little, we had cows, but shifted to produce, and then later moved to solely cash crops, all of which came with their own set of challenges, but a common theme of stress. This farm back ground helps me to understand what farmers face on a daily basis. I will support you in navigating the mental health challenges and stress to help you keep moving forward. We will work together to build on the tools and skills that you already have and maybe find a new favourite tool for your toolbox to maintain your mental health. You can come on your own, with your spouse, or with your family.