The Saskatchewan prairies are a gold mine for farmers, accounting for more than 40 per cent of Canada's cultivated farmland.
With such a high portion of the province working in the farming industry, it is essential that support be readily and easily available for farmers in need.
One service offering support to farmers in the province is the Farm Stress Line, which is Administered and delivered by Mobile Crisis Services with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Executive Director of Mobile Crisis Services, Jan Thorson, provided insight on the service.
“The Farm Stress Line is a 24-hour, seven day a week, emergency line that anyone in farming or rural communities can call to discuss anything that they may be concerned about, or any mental health issues they may feel they're experiencing,” she explained. “One of our counselors will talk with them and try to make the best referral possible to the closest help for them in their community.”
The service focuses on emergency counselling and does it’s best to make referrals for those seeking long-term counselling.
Thorson added that the Farm Stress Line is a phenomenal resource for farmers in the area that are facing challenges.
“It's always beneficial for people to talk about their problems rather than holding them inside and allowing them to grow,” she stated. “It's a really good opportunity for people to get a perspective on their problems. Sometimes when we're worried or stressed about something, dealing with it internally over and over again makes it bigger and more complex than it really is.
“So, sometimes it's really good to just talk that through with someone, with a neutral party who's prepared to offer them a fresh perspective, some alternatives to deal with it, and you know, any kind of assistance they need at that particular moment.”
The farm stress line has been in service since the 90’s and was taken over by the Ministry of Social Services in 2012.
“People are welcome to call us as many times as they like and there will always be someone here to speak to,” Thorson concluded.
Contact the Farm Stress Line at 1-800-667-4442 or find more information here.