More than ever before, a social climate exists that is more accepting and supportive of mental health challenges. OFA is pleased to see that the Ontario Government intends to invest $1.9 billion for mental health, addiction, and housing supports that will be matched by the federal government, resulting in a $3.8 billion investment over ten years.
We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the needs of farmers and rural residents living with mental health challenges. Farmers are a minority in Ontario living within a very specific set of circumstances and facing serious occupational stresses in their service to society, our food system, and the broader economy. They also face a myriad of problems associated with mental health: poor access to comprehensive services; (agri)cultural and social stigmas; social isolation; and ready access to the means to commit suicide, to list just a few.