In workplace safety, when we hear the term 'safe place' it's often assumed that hazards have been dealt with and a safe environment has been created.
In the context of mental health it’s just the first step. The safe place we’re referring to isn’t just our physical environment. It refers to something just as important - a place where we can discuss mental health freely and openly; where we lay the groundwork that ensures our workplace takes into account our mental health and the support we may need.
As we navigate through this second year of dealing with COVID-19, we have seen a rise in mental health challenges in the agriculture community. Whether it be social isolation, financial pressure or other issues, the stressors we may have already experienced only increased as we’ve faced the pandemic.
Be on the Lookout for Signs or Symptoms
In some situations, where people are dealing with mental health challenges, the farm itself may not even be part of the problem. But it can be part of the solution. We need to be on the lookout for any signs or symptoms that those we work with may be experiencing mental health issues. This could be family members or workers. There are numerous resources that we can share to help them navigate through their challenges.
In its efforts to support the agriculture community, WSPS has prioritized mental health and this includes the creation of two recorded webinars focused on this important topic.
Raising Awareness on Mental Health in Agriculture provides an overview of the mental health landscape as it relates to agriculture and delves into the stressors that may instigate mental health challenges as well as the associated symptoms and potential outcomes. It also introduces the Stop Think Act approach to dealing with mental health on the farm. It is a powerful tool and has proven to be very effective in successfully navigating through other kinds of workplace hazards.
Continuing the Conversation of Mental Health in Agriculture delivers on its title by taking the mental health conversation to the next level. A key component of this second webinar is the identification of 13+ workplace factors that can influence our psychological health and safety, both positively and negatively. Positively if we address them and negatively if we ignore them.
Self-Care Isn't Selfish
The five factors we focus on in the video include Work/Life Balance. Make sure you reinforce to your family and your workers the importance of taking time for themselves. Self-care isn't selfish. It is taking proactive steps to be able to work hard and smarter. Make time to work together so everyone can find their balance.
Psychological and Social Support are also key factors. The farm should not be the sole provider of support, but can play a crucial role. Your job is to help connect people to the appropriate resources and create a healthy and safe place for people to talk about mental health.
These recorded webinars are free and can be accessed at:
Raising Awareness of Mental Health in Agriculture
Continuing the Conversation of Mental Health