Staying Mentally Healthy Under Harvest Pressure

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Taking a few simple steps to help manage stress at harvest will go a long way to maintaining good mental health, said a founder of the Do More Agriculture Foundation.

“It’s easy to become isolated during harvest because you’re busy, potentially stressed, lacking sleep and likely alone in a cab of equipment for the majority of the day,” explained Kim Keller. “Stay in contact daily with friends or family or other networks via text or phone calls to reduce the feelings of isolation. Often a quick phone call to someone you trust is all that’s needed to stop negative thoughts from growing and taking over.”

Keller and the other founders of Do More Ag envision a culture in agriculture where all producers are encouraged, empowered and supported to take care of their mental well being. The organization is helping to realize this culture in agriculture by creating awareness about mental health and breaking the stigma that currently exists, while building a community of support and resources for those impacted and affected. Do More Ag aims to help all producers realize they are not alone and they have an entire industry behind them.

Click here to read Do More Ag’s six things you can do to stay resilient this harvest season, which is proving more challenging than usual for many farmers on the Prairies.

“Sitting for long periods of time in a cab during a high stress time of year can be trying for both your body and mind,” Keller added. “Try doing simple stretches in the cab throughout the day to stimulate blood circulation and release tension. Self care is even more important during busy times. Self care isn’t just baths and candles, sometimes during busy times like harvest, it’s wearing clean clothes, drinking enough water and eating good food.”

Links to more mental health resources are available below.

Alberta Health Services Mental Health Help Line 1-877-303-2642
https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/injprev/Page4875.aspx

Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line http://www.mobilecrisis.ca/farm-stress-line-rural-sask