CMHA Ontario launches suicide prevention program to support farmers

Farmers experience chronic stress more than the general population. Yet farmers are less likely to seek mental health support — sometimes with devastating consequences.

To help, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario has launched the Guardian Network, a volunteer suicide prevention network which supports Ontario’s farming community. A Guardian is an individual, over the age of 18, who is likely to be in contact with farmers through their work, volunteer activities, or their place in their community and has successfully completed The Guardian Network training program. Guardians are equipped with strategies and tools to identify the signs of mental distress, react to farmers at-risk, and connect individuals with appropriate mental health and crisis resources.

Learn more about the program and how you can register to become a Guardian at

This project is provided with funding by the governments of Canada and Ontario, including support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative. Via the Guardian Network, and its sister programs, Farmer Wellness Initiative and In the Know, CMHA Ontario and partners aim to provide the Ontario farming community a variety of accessible mental health supports.

About Sean Westerveld

Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Specialist, OMAFRA
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