The Do More Agriculture Foundation will look at better understanding the state of mental health awareness, educational offerings, and resource delivery in the Canadian ag sector.

The overall goal is to identify current gaps in mental health resources for the industry as a whole, and more specifically the gaps that exist for traditionally underrepresented and marginalized groups.

They'll be collaborating with Wilton Consulting Group, Openly, and Psychotherapist Bonnie Taylor to conduct: workshops, an environmental scan, key informant interviews, surveys, and focus groups.

Megz Reynolds, Executive Director of Do More Ag says in order to change the culture in agriculture to one where all individuals are supported and empowered to take care of their mental well-beings, we must also create a culture and industry where all are welcome, lifted up and the specific needs of each individual and group are addressed. 

She notes their openness to share and their willingness to have the hard conversations are vital to creating change.

Dr. Bronwynne Wilton, the Principal and Lead Consultant at WCG says the project will build on other key research in the industry, including Farm Management Canada’s Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms. 

"This 2020 study, for example, found women and youth report higher stress."

The information gathered will form the base for the final report which will be released in the second quarter of 2023.

This project is funded (up to $76,756) in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriDiversity Program.

Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau says this collaborative project serves to boost necessary mental health resources for underrepresented and marginalized groups. 

She adds the government will continue to support projects that improve mental well-being and work towards inclusivity in agriculture.