AgSafe Alberta launches new workshop to help recognize and address mental illness in farmers

AgSafe Alberta

Farmers’ mental health has long been a concern in our industry. But right now, it’s more of a concern than ever.

A 2016 study done by the University of Guelph found that 45 per cent of farmers had high stress, with 58 per cent meeting the classification for anxiety and 35 per cent for depression. While we don’t yet have statistics for how the pandemic has affected these numbers (we are still waiting for the results from a follow-up survey) we can safely assume they have not improved.

Most people have dealt with significant challenges over the past year because of COVID-19 and farmers are no exception. Shortages of labour, drought and tumultuous markets have not helped.

This is why we are launching “In the Know”, a new workshop to help those working in Alberta’s agriculture industry recognize when someone is not well and how to respond.

Wondering what Alberta Barley was up to this past year?

“In the Know” is a mental health literacy workshop designed by researchers at the University of Guelph to help you promote wellbeing and learn about mental health. The workshop will also help individuals recognize when someone is struggling and how to respond.

As an added bonus, the workshop was developed and is facilitated by people with farm backgrounds who understand the pressures that farmers face.

AgSafe Alberta will be delivering the program throughout Alberta this winter, with both in-person and online options available.

To see options to attend, visit or contact us at AgSafe for options to bring a workshop to your community by emailing

Another great resource for information on this topic is the Talk, Ask, Listen workshop offered by Do More Ag. Learn more about this at

Finally, if you or someone you know needs immediate help, call 1-866-332-2322 anytime to speak to someone or text “home” to 686868 to text with a trained crisis responder.