Quebec offers extra $300K in psychological support to farmers

Dairy cows are seen at a farm in Danville, Que., on August 11, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

The life of a farmer isn't always easy; agriculture workers often face professional, personal and financial stress that can be exacerbated by the isolation of the career.

To that end, the Quebec government has announced $300,000 in financial aid to further support mental health prevention efforts for the province's farmers and their families.

"Mental health is a social issue. The situation in the agricultural community is very worrying, as farmers are exposed to several risk factors associated with psychological distress and suicide. We intend to continue and expand our efforts to meet the growing need for psychological help for agricultural producers," said Health Minister Danielle McCann alongside Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister André Lamontagne on Monday. "This collaboration between our two departments will benefit the well-being of our farmers."

The organization Au Coeur des familles agricoles (ACFA), created to offer mental health prevention to Quebec farmers and their families, will receive the extra financial boost.

The funding will allow them to add more psychosocial workers who can meet with farmers facing distress, anxiety or isolation.

Recently, Quebec's farmers took part in angry protests after the CN Rail strike led to a shortage of propane for farmers, a fuel they sorely need to dry crops and heat barns.

Anyone seeking help for themselves or someone they know can call a counsellor at 1-866-APPELLE (277-3553) at any time. Info-Social 811 also offers a psychosocial consultation service available at all times in all regions of Quebec.

- With files from The Canadian Press