A mental health first aid course has taken off in rural communities outpacing expectations.
The two-day course is by the Do More Agriculture Foundation in partnership with Farm Credit Canada.
Lesley Rae Kelly with the not-for-profit group told 650 CKOM they hoped for 10 to 12 applications from rural communities across Canada and received 80.
“This just shows the need and the want to get this training into our communities,” she said.
According to Kelly, the overwhelming interest is a sign people are hurting.
“We’re trying to implement further awareness, reduce stigma and bring resources to agriculture to help our farmers,” Kelly said.
During the two-day course, participants learn to spot symptoms of mental illness and how to broach the subject.
One of the goals is to help people gain confidence to know what to do and to reduce stigma, Kelly said.
With so much interest in the program, the Do More Agriculture Foundation is looking for more partners to expand the mental health first aid course, which started as a one-year pilot program.