Natural disasters affect mental health.

Natural disasters such as the past week’s flooding or the summer’s wildfires are typically unexpected, sudden, and overwhelming. For many people, the destruction not only causes visible damage but also takes a huge emotional toll. It is common for people who have experienced a disaster to have strong emotional reactions. Understanding responses to distressing events can help you cope effectively with your feelings, thoughts, and behaviours and help you along the path to recovery.

We know that producers and their families will be impacted in different ways by this event. As such, we have sought to provide several resources to support you. We will continue to look for ways to provide support and will update this information regularly.

Resources now available to BC dairy producers:

1:1 counselling

We are working with two registered counsellors who have offered sessions to producers and their families affected by the recent summer fires and floods. If you would like an appointment, please email Holly Esplin (hesplin@bcdairy.ca) to forward the contact details. No questions asked, and this service is entirely confidential and free of charge.

Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC) Telephone Support

The Provincial Health Services Authority have opened their support line to producers. You can call 888-686-3022 or email MRT@phsa.ca and request a telephone support call. Here are the details of how to access this service and what to expect. 

HEMBC also have a BC Mental Health and Wellness Recovery Toolkit that you can access here.

Avail: AgSafe’s new Mental Wellness Resource/App

We have permission from AgSafe to share their new Mental Wellness Resource/App, called Avail. 

Avail is not yet on the Mental Wellness | AgSafe webpage, but they have made this resource available early for producers. Here is a guide to signing up. 

Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries – Mental Health Resources directory.

Here you can find a list of crisis contact lines and regional safety resources.

We know that children can be impacted in different ways. Here you can find some specific resources that will guide you in supporting children and youth during this time.

NCTSN Flood Response guides you in what to look out for in your children and how you can help them at this time with this guide.

Free Mental Health Counselling through TELUS Health MyCare

The Do More Agriculture Foundation (Do More Ag) has partnered with Telus to provide free mental health counselling to British Columbia producers and their families.

The counselling is available at no cost to all BC dairy producers and their families until February 28, 2022, thanks to TELUS Health’s donation to help support the aftermath of the devastating floods in the province.

Here, you can find more information within the Do More Ag official press release.