Tools to Help Farmers and Ranchers Cope With Stress

By Kari Burnett, PAg, Agriculture Programs Specialist, Swift Current

Even under ideal conditions, farming and ranching in Saskatchewan can be stressful. It can be difficult for producers to leave their stress at work at the end of the day. Many things are out of a producer’s control, which can lead to added stress.

Farmers and ranchers are known to be resilient. In recent years, more attention has been focused on farmers and ranchers putting their health first – both physical and mental. Rates of stress, anxiety, depression and burnout are high within the agricultural community. However, with increased awareness and knowledge, more access to supports and tools have been made available to producers.

By starting to think and talk about mental health, producers are taking an important step. Awareness of physical wellbeing also means taking steps to protect mental wellbeing. Self-care looks different for each person and taking care of yourself is not being selfish. It’s important to find balance when dealing with stress.

Three places to start taking care of yourself could be:

  1. Taking care of your body through regular exercise. In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, it can reduce symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
  2. Asking for and offering help if needed by assessing your mental health. If someone you know is struggling, offer your support. Helping others can be beneficial for both involved.
  3. Making time to do something fun at least once a week. Having interests outside of your work can bring increased happiness.

During busy seasons it’s easy to focus exclusively on the work that needs to be done. Remember that you are the most important piece of machinery on your operation and you need to keep yourself in top working condition.

If you need support, here are some resources that can help:

Farm Stress Line: 1-800-667-4442

  • Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, providing confidential crisis telephone counselling, support and referral information to individuals, youth and families living on the farm or in rural areas.

Healthline: 811

  • Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, staffed by health professionals who can provide guidance and support.

The Avail app:

  • A library of resources to assist Saskatchewan producers in actively monitoring their mental health. When signing up for an account, be sure to select the “Agriculture Saskatchewan” option from the organization name drop-down menu to access your free account.

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