Entries by Andrea

Sleep Hygiene and Mental Wellness

When it comes to sleep, there are many benefits to living in rural communities, such as less traffic noise and artificial lights. Those involved in agricultural careers are more likely to sleep and wake with the cycle of the sun, which can be helpful for maintaining consistent sleep routines. Yet according to the Sleep Association, […]

The Value of Support From Someone Who Has Been There

The Following Is From An Interview With Robyn Priest Being supported by others who have shared your struggles and know what it’s like is the foundation of peer support. For those living in rural and agricultural communities, the Stigma Free Society has partnered with Robyn Priest LIVE YOUR TRUTH to offer peer support worker training […]

Addressing Substance Use Stigma in Rural Communities

Matt Begg works for the Umbrella Society, which is an organization supporting those who use substances, and he has generously shared important insights and information about addressing stigma and supporting those with substance use challenges. Can you describe your role with the Umbrella Society and your passion behind this work? I work in Umbrella Society’s […]

The Impact of Stigma on Mental Illness

Stigma has a terrible impact on mental illness. Stigma is based on stereotypes and assumptions about our differences. Characteristics such as race, gender identity, a disability, mental illness or any other noticeable difference can be directly targeted, and often unintentionally. Stigma can affect all people, but especially people from marginalized groups. Stigma can lead to […]

Tips To Help You Manage Different Perspectives

It may seem like a difficult task in today’s landscape to work with or be around others who have differing opinions, beliefs and behaviours than you. However, suppose you can find a way to look past those differences and make them work for you. If that were the case, you could have a powerful team, […]

Navigating Financial Stress in Farming

The farming industry is particularly vulnerable to financial fluctuations and uncertainty, which can be a major contributor to stress and mental health challenges for farming families. The Stigma-Free Society spoke with Gerry Friesen, also known as the “Recovering Farmer”, about managing the financial stress involved in farming. Gerry is a stress expert and public speaker […]

On Peer Support Work and its Effectiveness in Rural Communities

Rural communities are a unique context for mental healthcare. In rural and agricultural communities across North America, there is a mental health crisis due to the lack of resources that exist, and stigma discourages people from getting help. Rural communities experience higher rates of suicide, addiction, and substance use. Rural residents are more likely to […]

Interview with a Row Crop Farm Family

The Stigma-Free Society recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kenneth and Kathryn Mentzer, a row crop farm family based in central Illinois. Their philosophy to farming is based on improving the land they farm on and making a positive impact in their community. What are some specific challenges that people face in the rural community […]

E-Mental Health: Digital Alternatives to Mental Health Support in Rural Communities

Seeking support is a vital first step in managing mental health challenges, but what if support is hard to come by? According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, access to mental health services is particularly limited in rural and remote communities. Given the long and demanding days required for many in the farming community, […]

It’s Ok to not be Ok – Navigating the Terrain of Adversity

The landscape of rural based living has always fostered a resilient, multi-talented and hard-working mind frame in those who choose, or were born into ranching, homesteading, or farming. But at what point does our emotional strength and resilience crater to the level of adversity or pressure one individual, family, or operation can handle. Many of […]