Entries by Andrea

The Importance of Peer Support and Inclusion in Rural Mental Health: Meghan South

The Stigma-Free Society recently had the opportunity to speak to Meghan South, a recent participant of our Rural Mental Health Peer Support training program, who shared with us about her experience living in rural Saskatchewan and working in the field of mental health and substance use recovery. She shared with us about her experience with […]

Farmers and Rural Mental Wellness

I am a second year PhD student in the school of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, where my research focuses on the relationships between soil quality and farmers’ health. This research is informed by a twenty year career working with the BC provincial public service (in six different ministries), and by more recent […]

Farm Management & The Mental Health of Farmers

The Stigma-Free Society recently spoke with Heather Watson of Farm Management Canada to speak about the correlation between farm management and the mental health of farmers and other agricultural workers. We asked Heather about farmer stress and the results of the Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms report. Can you tell us about Farm Management Canada’s research […]

Supporting Children’s Mental Health on the Farm

We often think of children as happy-go-lucky, free from the burdens and responsibilities of adulthood. But children often pick up on the stressors and challenges of life on the farm. The impact of COVID-19 is still affecting the mental health of children and youth, and many rural communities are facing overwhelming challenges that can generate […]

Finding Moments of Stillness in Seeding Season

The Stigma-Free Society recently spoke with Roberta Galbraith, whose family are 6th generation farmers running a grain, pulse, and oilseed operation. Given the stress and high workload of seeding season, we asked Roberta what kind of strategies she and her family use for winding down at the end of the day and finding stillness in […]

The Benefits of Animals on Mental Health

If you have pets or live with animals on the farm, you probably know that animals can be an incredible form of emotional support. Pets can have many benefits for your mental health, including increasing your physical activity, reducing anxiety through providing companionship and affection, boosting self-confidence and adding structure to your day. In rural […]

Understanding Climate Change Anxiety in Rural Communities

Climate change can impact people’s mental health in many ways. Natural disasters such as droughts and forest fires can cause displacement, economic stress, and impacts to livelihood. But climate change can also fuel feelings of uncertainty, guilt, despair and anxiety. Recently, the Oxford English Dictionary included a new word: eco-anxiety, which refers to people’s anxiety […]

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 […]