4-H Canada has announced a two-year multi-partner agreement to support the emotional and physical well-being of rural youth across Canada through the creation of the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative, beginning in spring 2019.

“The Healthy Living Initiative means offering youth not only the tools and resources to face challenges, but also opportunities to learn how to thrive,” said Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO. “As a positive youth development organization, 4-H Canada continually strives to understand our members and develop programming that meets their needs. We are truly grateful that so many partners have joined us in helping to create the resources that leaders can use to make a difference in the lives of youth across Canada.”

The first year of the initiative will see the creation of resources and tools that will support youth facing mental health challenges and communicate how to access resources or recognize when a peer needs support. The second year of the initiative will focus on physical health, nutrition and well-being.

The goal of this initiative is to support the 25,000 4-H youth members across Canada.

As part of the two-year commitment, 4-H Canada will also deliver webinars and workshops and assist in the creation of resources that will be made available for the over 7,700 4-H volunteer leaders that are critical mentors and role models in adult-youth partnerships. These resources will train volunteers and offer resources that help recognize youth in distress and provide the access to support they need.

Funding for the program was provided by Farm Credit Canada (FCC) along with UFA Co-operative Limited, Corteva Agriscience (Agriculture Division of DowDuPont), and Cargill, who have agreed to put over $150,000 collectively toward this initiative.

“This is an investment in young people who will play a large role in shaping the future of Canadian agriculture,” said Michael Hoffort, FCC President and CEO. “To help them reach their full-potential we are supporting a program that contributes to the mental and physical well-being of our next generation of farmers and agribusiness professionals.”

FCC has also partnered with mental health experts to create a resource for managing stress and anxiety on the farm titled, Rooted in Strength, and has produced a series of public service announcements to promote mental health awareness in agriculture.

In addition, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is working with Farm Management Canada to support a project that will explore the link between mental health and the impact on farm business management decisions.

 

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