Bonus Episode: Mental Health in Agriculture with Kim Moffat

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Farmer Wellness Program & Mental Health Awareness with Kim Moffat

Kim Moffat has been a counselor for over 30 years. For the last 22 years, Kim has specialized in the area of Agricultural Mental Health. She has provided counseling and support to farm families for 20 years at the Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services. In 2020 that service was relocated into Winnipeg.

Kim grew up on a small mixed farm in Western Manitoba. She moved away to receive her education in Psychiatric Nursing, and then upon marrying her husband Brent, returned to his family farm in the Strathclair area. Raising cattle was their passion but the financial strain caused by the BSE crisis, saw them make the difficult decision to leave the farm.

Aware of the gap in service for farmers to access help, Kim partnered up with colleague and mental health advocate Gerry Friesen, and eventually founded the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program.

Since then, Kim has been facilitating the University of Guelph mental health workshops targeting farmers and those working in the ag industry. She has also recently started her own private counseling business prioritizing farm and rural people.

Through her own lived experiences as well as learning and listening to farmers, Kim continues to advocate and push for accessible and informed support for Manitoba farmers and their families whenever she can.

To start this episode, Kim gives us a brief overview of what Mental Health is and why Mental Health Awareness is so important, especially in agriculture, as well as discussing some statistics from University of Guelph Research surrounding the state of Mental Health in Ag.

We chat about several services that are available to farmers and farm families in Manitoba, including the Manitoba Farmers Wellness Program. This program originated to fill a gap in services for producers, and has been a project that Kim has been heavily involved in. She, along with some colleagues run the Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program, which offers counseling services to Manitoba farmers and their families at no cost. These sessions are completely confidential and can be accessed via phone, in person or over Zoom. To find out more about this program, please visit: https://manitobafarmerwellness.ca

There are several other services listed on the Manitoba Farmers Wellness Program website that are categorized by location within the province. You can access this list to find out more about the programs available in your area at: https://manitobafarmerwellness.ca/crisis-services

During our conversation, there are several other links provided that can lead you to more information or support services. Please take a moment to visit these sites.

Guelph 2016 Study; Farmers Need, Want Mental Health Help: Survey

https://news.uoguelph.ca/2016/06/farmers-need-want-mental-health-help-survey/

Guelph 2022 Study; Farmer Mental Health Worsens During Pandemic

https://news.uoguelph.ca/2022/06/farmer-mental-health-in-canada-worsened-during-pandemic-u-of-g-research-finds/

Kim Moffat’s Private Counseling Website:

https://www.kmoffat.com

Manitoba Farm, Rural and Northern Support Services Website:

https://supportline.ca

Toll Free Phone Number: 1-866-367-3276

Community Program & Services Search Manitoba

https://mb.211.ca

Phone Number: 211

The research programs and daily operations at MBFI would not be possible without the funding from the Province of Manitoba, Government of Canada, and Canadian Agricultural Partnership, as well as the partnership with Manitoba Agriculture, Manitoba Beef Producers (MBP), Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA).

We encourage you to follow MBFI on social media, or check out the website for more information on project findings and results, upcoming events and more!

Instagram: @MBBeefandForage

Facebook: @MBBeefandForage

Twitter: @MBBeefandForage

Website: www.mbfi.ca

23 episodes