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Survey of producer stress and resilience in Ontario


September 23, 2015
By Manure Manager

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September 18, 2015 – The University of Guelph has begun a new study pertaining to agricultural producer stress, and how farmers may or may not be managing it, as well as investigating producer’s opinions with respect to what resources should be available.

“Many of us have personally known producers who have suffered from significant stress and other mental health issues,” writes Andria Jones-Bitton, associate professor of epidemiology in the department of population medicine at the University of Guelph. “Some, tragically, have resulted in these friends and colleagues dying by suicide.  Of additional concern is the additional stress imposed on producers during animal disease outbreaks and other extreme events.  We currently know very little about stress and mental wellness in Canadian producers outside of these anecdotal experiences.

The study is being conducted in order to learn about the stress experienced by producers (from any agricultural commodity) in Ontario, as well as their resiliency or ability to cope with these stresses. 

“Some producers are highly resilient, while others are not,” adds Jones-Bitton. “It is important to learn about the factors associated with both so that we can help those who need it most.”

The online survery was launched on September 17th at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show. It takes about 15 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous, and can be done on computers or mobile devices.  Participants can choose to have their name into 3 draws for $200 (names CANNOT be linked to survey responses).  The study has been approved by our University’s Research Ethics Board.

The link to the survey is: www.producerwellness.ca

Please join in starting the dialogue around this important human health topic and help researchers gather crucial data.