Suicide ideation, alcohol addiction, depression and even difficulty sleeping due to the dry growing season.
Those are some of the concerns called in to the Farm Stress Line this past month as a dry July in southern Saskatchewan has led to poorer crops and dry topsoil in many fields. Mobile Crisis Services has been operating the Farm Stress Line since 2012. Executive Director John McFadyen says the head of the farm family is like the CEO of a large business and, "he has to look at dealing with all kinds of issues around, what is he going to plant, how is he going to sell his crop, how is he going to get his crop off, and the stresses of dealing with those things can't help but not impact family situations, relationships with his kids, relationships with his spouse, and if there's any other issues happening inside the family...adding that extra stress makes that more difficult to deal with". Last month, 59 people called the Farm Stress Line, which is up from the 16 calls they received in July of 2016. McFadyen says the Mobile Crisis Services employees on the other line have grown up on the family farm or have a connection to the farm, and are able to help with various issues, from suicidal thoughts to difficulties with families. McFadyen says one of the reasons the line was transferred to Mobile Crisis Services was that they are available 24/7. McFadyen says "farm families...don't necessarily have 9 to 5 hours", so they are able to chat whenever someone needs the help. If you are feeling stressed and need to call, their toll free number is 1-800-667-4442.