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New app launched to assist farmers in combating stress

The new tool helps farmers understand stress and offers strategies for increasing resiliency

Citing repeated floods in some parts of the province, Farm and Rural Support Services of Manitoba has launched a new web-based application to help farmers manage stress.

“Working with the Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services Manitoba, I have seen a definite need for this service,” said Janet Smith, program manager with Farm and Rural Support Services of Manitoba. “Following a few years of severe flooding, producers in Manitoba have certainly been under an immense amount of stress. This offers them a quick, confidential resource that they can access any time they are feeling overwhelmed.”

Representatives from Western Financial Group presented the agency with a $10,000 donation from its Western Communities Foundation to support the new app called “Calm in the Storm.”

“The Western Communities Foundation certainly sees value in this project and as such, we are excited to be able to make this donation to support the initiative,” said Earl Martin, account executive with the Western Financial Group.

The new digital stress management tool promotes resilience, positive mental health and allows users to better understand what stress is, their current level of stress and how to best manage it.

“Managing stress is not about avoiding or escaping daily pressures, but learning how to calmly weather the storm,” said Smith. “Stress has profoundly negative effects on the body and this application can allow users to track the development of their stress over time and also offers personalized recommendations, self-calming practices and clinically researched methods proven to help manage stress.”

The Calm in the Storm application project has been a result of the partnership between the Manitoba Farm and Rural Support Services, Winnipeg’s Klinic Community Health Centre, the Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network and the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.

Along with the Westman Financial Group, the project has also seen financial support from the Manitoba government and the Winnipeg Foundation.

“While stress is a normal part of life, we know that too much stress can be harmful,” said Healthy Living and Seniors Minister Deanne Crothers. “We are pleased to support Klinic in this initiative that focuses on keeping Manitobans of all ages healthy and safe, a focus that mirrors that of our government.”

Developed by Tactica Interactive, the app allows producers to access help anywhere at any time and is completely confidential. The application is currently available free of charge at www.calminthestorm.com.

“Many times it is after the helpline’s operating hours that people begin to realize their stress levels and that is why this application is a great resource. It is accessible any time and always anonymous,” added Smith.

About the author

Reporter

Jennifer Paige is a reporter centred in southwestern Manitoba. She previously wrote for the agriculture-based magazine publisher, Issues Ink and was the sole-reporter at the Minnedosa Tribune for two years prior to joining the Manitoba Co-operator.

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