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Mental health illness in ag reaching crisis: Member of Parliament

Earl Dreeshen makes statement in House of Commons
MVT Earl Dreeshen 2019
Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen is renewing calls for a focus on mental health in the agriculture industry. File photo/MVP Staff

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen has renewed his call for more to be done to address mental health illness in Canada’s farming and ranching community.

“The incidents of mental health problems in Canada’s agriculture sector is reaching crisis proportions,” Dreeshen told the House of Commons via video link on Nov. 26. “Farmer, ranchers, producers and their families are increasingly experiencing high levels of stress, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

“This issue needs to remain top of mind of all of us. We must continue to generate even more public awareness and thoughtful discussion. Together we can all work together to tackle the tragic rise of mental health illness within Canada’s vital agriculture sector.”

In May 2019 Dreeshen and other members of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture issued a report on the issue of mental health in agriculture titled Mental Health: A Priority For Our Farmers.

“Stakeholders (in that report) said that all levels of government need to act quickly and many organizations, primarily spearheaded by female farmer entrepreneurs, have been working hard ever since,” he said.

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