Farmers Talk program assists hundreds in first year

The Farmers Talk program is being renewed for a second year after assisting hundreds of Prince Edward Island’s farmers and their families find help to deal with the mental and emotional stress associated with farming life.

FarmersTalk.ca encourages farmers, producers and family members to open up about the challenges they face, to support each other, and to reach out for help with any mental health struggles.

“In the last year farmers have dealt with the impacts of COVID-19, faced a national economic downturn, and weathered an extremely dry growing season. This has been a stressful year, but the Farmers Talk site has provided guidance when people seek help for their mental and emotional health.”

- Agriculture and Land Minister Bloyce Thompson

More than 250 counselling sessions were provided free of charge last year to members of PEI’s agricultural community through Farmers Talk and the Farmer Assistance Program, offered by the PEI Federation of Agriculture.

“Canada’s farmers feed our communities and feed the world,” said Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “Farming today is a challenging business, especially during COVID, and farm families face all kinds of stresses. I’m glad farmers have access to resources like Farmers Talk to help them through difficult times, and I congratulate the Province of Prince Edward Island on renewing this remarkable initiative. It’s important to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others. Stay safe and don’t forget to talk about the challenges you are facing.”

FarmersTalk.Ca was developed by the Department of Agriculture and Land in cooperation with Island farm organizations and provincial mental health services. 

“When we set up Farmers Talk we didn’t know just how challenging 2020 was going to be for our Island farm community,” Thompson said. “Promoting a sustainable agriculture industry includes sustaining the people and families who make that industry possible.” 

This resource builds on other support available through the Farmer Assistance Program, which offers six free sessions to farmers, their families and their employees dealing with mental health issues.

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Agriculture and Land

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