Agriculture Committee to Study Mental Health Challenges faced by Agricultural Producers

NEWS RELEASE – as posted on the committee website:

Mental Health in the Agriculture Sector – House Of Commons Committee Begins Study on the Mental Health Challenges that Canadian Farmers, Ranchers and Producers Face

Ottawa, September 25, 2018

Farmers are subject to many pressures: weather conditions, market ups and downs, long working hours and loneliness. Because of these factors, some Canadian farmers experience serious psychological distress, which can lead to suicide. According to a report by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one in five Canadians will be affected by a mental health or addiction problem in their lifetime. Moreover, a recent study from the University of Guelph suggested that Canadian farmers are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to mental health.

The members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food would like to hear evidence and recommendations from stakeholders as part of the Committee’s study on the mental health challenges that Canadian farmers, ranchers and producers face.

Public meetings will be held in Ottawa starting on September 27, 2018. These meetings will enable various stakeholders from the agriculture sector, along with mental health organizations, to share their views on this issue. The Committee would like to understand the challenges the agriculture sector faces in order to learn more about the best ways of addressing them, review the resources available and identify the shortcomings relating to mental health in Canada’s agriculture community. Furthermore, this study will enable the Committee to prepare a report for the government that will make recommendations regarding the best awareness and prevention programs and practices to address the mental health challenges in the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Any interested group or individual is welcome to submit a written brief for the Committee’s consideration. Once these briefs are translated, they will be distributed to the Committee members and posted on the Committee website. Those who wish to submit a brief are encouraged to consult the Guide for Submitting Briefs to House of Commons Committees.

For more information on the Committee’s members, meetings and work, please see the Committee’s website.

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For more information, please contact:
Ariane Gagné-Frégeau, Clerk of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food
Tel: 613-947-6732
E-mail: AGRI@parl.gc.ca