Low risk for developing a mental health issue or addiction; Maintaining current mental health.
You feel things are going well, and you want to keep it that way. Or perhaps you’re managing ok overall, but you know that you could do more to take time to yourself, clear your head, or manage stressful situations more pro-actively.
If this describes you, a family member, a valued worker on the farm or someone in the farming community, here are some resources to help maintain current state of mental health and wellness.
We have a number of physical items to support mental health available at Farm Safety Nova Scotia. You can request your mental health kit which include a stress ball, ear plugs, tissue pack, original poem, nutrition sheets and breathing cards by e-mailing email@example.com.
Farm Family Support Line
Reach out. Get Help. Feel Better.
The Farm Family Support Line is a confidential, short term counselling and advisory service to help farmers, their families and their employees manage and reduce the stressful issues of life including mental health, legal, financial and more. Farmers, their families and their employees have unlimited access to services at no cost.
Call for confidential and immediate support 24/7/365.
The Farm Family Support Line is managed as an Employee Assistance Program by Telus Health, funded by Farm Safety Nova Scotia.
Maintaining Mental Fitness Posts
These tips and supports were created to help farmers and their loved ones get through the COVID-19 pandemic, but the tips and suggestions can be employed during any difficult time.
8 Domains of Well-Being
CASA – Building Wellness on the Farm
Stress is a normal part of life. There are times when stress gives us motivation to accomplish our daily tasks. It provides the adrenaline we need to get jobs done. However, there are times when stress becomes overwhelming and it has a negative impact on our lives. Stress can become so debilitating that it becomes difficult to function. At times like this stress can lead to other mental and physical health issues. And when that happens, we jeopardize our personal safety and the safety of others.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: Farming Mental Health
Farming is more than just work for many; it’s a way of life that is rewarding despite the tough physical work. But now it’s becoming increasingly apparent that the unique challenges faced daily by farmers – from the long hours to the isolation to the many uncertainties beyond their control – can also greatly impact their mental health and well-being.
This infographic outlines some of the many stressors and how they can affect farmers, and what can be done to help support them so they can be healthy and thrive, even in times of uncertainty or stress.
This infographic was developed in partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.
Canadian Center for Health & Safety in Agriculture: Farming and Mental Health Stress Inventory Assessment
Use the Canadian Center for Health & Safety in Agriculture Farming and Mental Health Stress Inventory Assessment to evaluate your specific stressors and the levels of stress experienced to include finances, weather, heavy workload, farming relationships, etc.
Once you put your evaluation score into perspective, use the tools, resources and supports available to navigate a path through the stressors to improve your score. Set time aside throughout the year to use the Stress Inventory Assessment to monitor your mental health status and understand the different areas of your mental health that may need attention at any given time or season.
CAMH – Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Mental Health Resources
Mental health resources on when to ask for help, coping with stress, and being alone in Canada are available upon request by contacting the Farmer Wellness Coordinator. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 902-893-2293.
CAMH – centre de toxicomania et de sante mentale
RECURSOS DE SALUD Y BIENESTAR MENTAL
Los recursos de salud mental en español sobre cuándo pedir ayuda, lidiar con el estrés y estar solo en Canadá están disponibles a pedido, comunicándose con Margaret Ells o Caitlyn Creelman, correo electrónico email@example.com o teléfono 902-957-2785
Emergency Response Model for Mental Health During Agricultural Crisis
Emergency Response Model for Mental Health During Agricultural Crisis is a guidance document with evidence based recommendations for farmers to protect their mental health during an agricultural crisis such as a weather event or a disease outbreak on farm. The recommendations are based on Kelloway’s model for workplace mental health and broken into the three categories of prevention, intervention and recovery.
Mobile Apps to Support Mental Health and Wellness
There are a number of apps available that can help you maintain and care for your mental health and wellness. The following applications all offer free resources, as well as additional supports available at cost. Please note that these mobile apps are not affiliated with Farm Safety Nova Scotia and the use of these external services does not replace the advice, guidance and support given by health providers. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.
- Avail – well-being, resilience, and support assistant. Leverage your psychological, physical, and social resources to proactively maintain and recover personal well-being & resilience. Click to download
- Calm – mental fitness, relaxation, & sleep Click to download
- Pay it Forward Click to download
- Doodle App
- Hugr Authentic Connections – a mental wellness app designed to help people feel connected. Through the self-guided digital program, individuals can measure their level of social connection, discover how to build and maintain authentic connections, and regularly share how they’re feeling with those closest to them. Click to download
Maintaining Mental Fitness Webinars
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture applied for, and was grateful to receive, funding from the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) COVID-19 Response Funding. This funding has allowed us to develop and offer a number of mental health workshops and webinars.
Maintaining Mental Fitness 101: Foundational Elements to Building a Mental Fitness Plan – E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the recording.
Have you ever thought about your mental fitness? Similar to your physical fitness which is impacted by a number of factors including how well you eat, sleep and exercise. Your mental fitness is significantly impacted by your habits and routines and without intentional focus, especially in times of uncertainty, you can begin to experience adverse effects.
In this presentation Dr. Howatt will discuss the foundational elements of mental health and mental illness, and how our daily experience can influence our personal battery charge. This presentation will also cover the key elements of resilience, coping skills and how micro-skills can charge your daily battery.
In this presentation participants will learn about assessing and building positive mental fitness. This will include:
- Discussing the differences between mental health and mental illness
- Identifying what your “charge” is at today
- Reflection on what charges and drains mental fitness batteries
- Considerations when developing your own mental fitness plan
Coping with Isolation & loneliness – E-mail email@example.com for a copy of the recording.
Nothing like a pandemic to challenge a society’s ability to feel socially connected. For many, coping with isolation and social distancing can be trying as it is something many of us have not had to do. It makes sense: it is hard because a core pillar for mental health is social connections. Social connections are influenced by our ability to connect with others as well as the quality of those connections at home, at work and in community.
Isolation can be defined as a barrier that has a negative impact on our perception that we can be as social connected with others as we want. There are many different barriers that can negatively impact how a person connects. Financial limitations, social isolation, and psychological safety are three. In this webinar Dr. Howatt will introduce some of his findings around perceived isolation barriers.
In this presentation participants will learn about the key elements to coping with Isolation and Loneliness. This will include:
- Discussing the link between mental health and social connections
- Exploring what perceived isolation is
- Reviewing the link between isolation and loneliness
- Defining what loneliness looks like
Navigating Crisis – E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the recording.
In life and on the farm we can be challenged by crises we may or may not see. As we are thinking about COVID -19, a hurricane or a drought, we don’t know what the next crisis may bring us. Regardless of whether you are a farmer or a farm worker, having a basic understanding of crisis intervention can help facilitate effective decision making. Howatt HR has taught crisis management for over ten years and has been involved in supporting crises for over 30 years. This presentation will provide some insight into basic crisis intervention to assist in navigating events.
In this presentation participants will learn about how to navigate crisis in your life. This will include:
- Exploring what crisis management is and its benefits
- Reviewing the crisis continuum
- Introducing CALM and its application to crisis intervention
- Examining a six-step model for crisis intervention
Canadian Red Cross – Online Psychological First Aid
These courses are about taking care of yourself when you experience stress, crisis or trauma, and then being there for family, friends and community when they are having difficulty coping. Available online so you can work at your own pace, and provides practical skills to use in daily life.
- Self-Care $20/person
- learn the effects of stress with an emphasis on building and using a personal self-care plan. Participants will be introduced to the Red Cross Look, Listen, Link, Live model and will learn how to cope with the effects of various types of stress
- Caring for Others $20/person
- Learn to recognize when a person is in distress and how to offer help without judgement or assumptions.
Mental Health and Wellness In the Workplace ($124/person for NSFA members)
St. John Ambulance designed this course as a one-day support-based course to recognize, address and promote mental health and wellness and to reduce stigma in the workplace. Individuals will gain skills, comfort, and knowledge to better identify and guide a colleague towards a resilient outcome. The course discusses workplace factors that can affect mental health with a focus on peer-to-peer interaction.
This course can be completed in-person or virtually. Often the virtual delivery is planned for two half days rather than one full day of online training.
Email email@example.com or phone 902-893-2293 to participate in or schedule a course.
Mental Health First Aid ($168/person for NSFA members)
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) was designed by the Mental Health Foundation of Canada and is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.
The MHFA program aims to improve mental health literacy, and provide the skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend, or a colleague.
Participants will learn to:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems
- Provide initial help
- Guide a person towards appropriate professional help
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 902-893-2293 to participate in or schedule a course.
In the Know (At No Cost)
A 4-hour mental health literacy workshop designed for farmers, their families and those who are involved in and/or support the agriculture sector. Topics covered include stress, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and how to start a conversation around mental well-being.
Farm Safety Nova Scotia has local trained facilitators to deliver this in-person or virtual four- hour workshop by those who relate to the challenges that the farming community experiences in Nova Scotia.
- To provide an overview of stress, anxiety, depression, acute trauma, substance use and suicide
- To identify signs and symptoms of mental distress
- To provide information on how to have a safe conversation about mental health with someone who may be struggling
- To provide an overview of ways to support for mental health
Email email@example.com or phone 902-893-2293 to register for or request this course
Centre for Suicide Prevention
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day workshop available through the Center for Suicide Prevention that focuses on suicide first aid. Participants will learn to recognize when someone may being having thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan to support their immediate safety.