AgSafe Alberta has partnered with provincial farm safety organizations across Canada to present a free 10-session webinar series about mental health, directed toward producers.
“We recognize mental health is a key part of safety but also something that’s an issue for a number of different commodity and producer groups,” Jody Wacowich, executive director of AgSafe Alberta, told the News. “We got together with Howatt HR and said we’d like to put together a series of (webinars).”
Various topics are discussed in the webinars, including how to handle stress, how to navigate relationships, how to transition through the COVID-19 pandemic and more.
“I think we’re hoping, whether (producers) attend in person or go to the website and watch some of the sessions … (they can) access some resources to give them support or (encourage them) to start thinking about who to help themselves,” said Wacowich.
Wacowich believes the webinar series to be an important resource, as she feels many producers have been negatively impacted by recent factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, rising or falling commodity prices and impacts of extreme weather.
“The theme of Sowing the Seeds is hope, mental health and awareness, and helping people understand that,” said Wacowich. “I think one of the challenges for most of us is the stigma around reaching out for help. If it was a broken leg, we’d have no problem reaching out for help, but when it’s in our heads, it’s a little harder to think about that and look after ourselves that way.”
Several webinars have already taken place, however there are still some scheduled for February and March. All past webinars will be available online for the next six months. The webinars can be found on Howatt HR Consulting’s website.
AgSafe Alberta also offers a mental health literacy course, titled In the Know.
“(It’s) is a four-hour session, which right now you can do by Zoom, or we’ve got the odd one which is starting to happen in-person,” said Wacowich. “(In the Know) tries to build that understanding, recognition of what the issues are and how to help someone find the resources they need to get help.”
Registration for In the Know can be found on albertaitk.com.
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