Statement from the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau,Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food - Bell Let’s Talk Day

Statement

January 28, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

In recent months, many people around us have experienced psychological distress. In this time of crisis, we need to support each other more than ever before, while remembering to take care of ourselves first.

As Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, I can tell you that for workers in the sector, there has been no shortage of sources of stress this year. Farming is seven days a week. Farmers are often isolated and they are used to taking a lot on their shoulders.

We always think everything is fine and we can get by on our own, but sometimes talking about it can really make all the difference. A hard blow can happen to anyone—man or woman, young or old—and no one should hesitate to seek help when he or she needs it.

So I would like to take advantage of Bell Let’s Talk Day to invite you to talk about mental health. Mental health is NOT a taboo topic.

Contact a friend, neighbor or distant relative to talk about life. Use social media to break the stigma. Every action counts!

Talk about mental health at work too. Mental health is often discussed at conferences of professional associations in the agricultural sector.

I invite all agricultural producers and other entrepreneurs in the food sector to learn more about Farm Credit Canada’s Rooted in strength initiative, which is there to help you to access mental health resources in your area. There are also other initiatives led by the sector and by organizations such as Au coeur des families agricoles in Quebec which does a wonderful job with its field workers.

No matter how you go about it, make your well-being a priority.

Stay healthy!

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts

  • In April 2017, the Federal Government announced targeted funding of $5 billion over 10 years to provinces and territories to improve access to mental health services. In particular, this investment is leading to better access to, and shortened wait times for, mental health support to help families, including children and youth under the age of 25.
  • As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government also announced an investment of $240.5 million that supports Wellness Together Canada, an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use.
  • Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is actively working to raise awareness of mental health warning signs and available resources through its Rooted in Strength initiative. FCC has sent the Rooted in Strength booklet to over 170,000 rural residences in Canada.
  • Through community investment, FCC also provides funding to mental health initiatives within the rural and ag industry and is working to raise mental health awareness through partnerships with various organizations.

Contacts

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
jean-sebastien.comeau@canada.ca
343-549-2326

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972
aafc.mediarelations-relationsmedias.aac@canada.ca
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