An Investigation of Mental Health and Occupational Stressors Among Farmers in Canada

Thompson, Rochelle
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University of Guelph

For decades, farming has been recognized as a highly stressful occupation globally. In 2016, a national survey investigating mental health outcomes among farmers in Canada found increased levels of mental distress among this population compared to the general public. Farmers are known to face a unique host of occupational stressors, and the COVID-19 pandemic introduced additional challenges for farmers in Canada. Hence, the second wave of the national, online, cross-sectional survey of mental health outcomes among farmers in Canada was conducted early 2021. The survey results showed increased levels of anxiety, depression, perceived stress, emotional exhaustion, and cynicism among farmers compared to the Canadian public, particularly among farming women. This justified action towards identifying opportunities to reduce stress and increase well-being in this population. A mixed-methods investigation provided a comprehensive understanding of chronic and episodic farming stressors in Canada and identified promising areas for stress-reduction and well-being promotion efforts.

mental health, farmer, anxiety, depression, substance use, stressor, stress
Thompson, R., Hagen, B. N., Lumley, M. N., Winder, C. B., Gohar, B., & Jones-Bitton, A. (2022). Mental health and substance use of farmers in Canada during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20), 13566.