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Feeling Stressed?

By: Kari Burnett, PAg, Regional Farm Business Management Specialist

October 2017

Even under ideal conditions, farming and ranching in Saskatchewan can be stressful. Many things are out of a producer’s control. Add to that the extreme dry conditions over the summer, recent fires and losses of livestock, and it’s no wonder area producers might be feeling stressed.

Erin Wasson (MSW, RSW), a Veterinary Social Worker from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, has recently compiled the following information to help producers affected by or traumatic events.

In the weeks after a traumatic event, it is common to experience symptoms of acute stress. Sometimes these symptoms persist for a few days or up to a month. 

Causes include: Death, threat of death to oneself or others, threat of serious injury to oneself or others, threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.

Who is at risk?

  • anyone exposed to a traumatic event (e.g., wildfire, mass incident and herd death)
  • someone who has experienced, witnessed or been confronted with a traumatic event in the past
  • someone with a personal history of PTSD, acute stress disorder or other mental health concerns

Some symptoms include:

  • feeling numb, detached, or being emotionally unresponsive
  • reduced awareness of your surroundings or your environment feels strange or unreal
  • feeling like you are reliving the event
  • having recurring images, thoughts, nightmares, illusions, or flashbacks
  • avoiding people, conversations, places, objects, or activities that remind you of the event
  • trouble sleeping, being irritable, difficulty concentrating, being constantly tense or on guard

If you are worried about someone…

  • Connect
    “This situation has been just (awful, horrible, shocking, and terrifying)”
  • Empathize
    “It makes sense you’re feeling the way you are, given everything that has happened”
  • Elicit
    “What changes have you noticed about yourself since this has happened?”
  • Reflect
    “Sounds like you’re not sure how to manage all of this”
  • Normalize
    “Seems to me that just about anybody who’s had to go through this might need a hand”
  • Offer
    “How about I leave you a list of people you could contact if you needed someone to talk to, just in case you ever wanted it?”

If you need help:

  • The Healthline: 811
    • 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staffed by health professionals who can provide good guidance and support.
  • Farm Stress Line: 1-800-667-4442
    • 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing confidential crisis telephone counselling, support and referral information to individuals, youth and families living on the farm or in rural areas.
  • Heartland Health Region: 1-866-268-9139
    • Centralized intake providing support and referral to individuals needing to access local mental health services.
  • Cypress Health Region: 1-877-329-0005
    • Centralized intake providing support and referral to individuals needing to access local mental health services.
  • Veterinary Social Work, WCVM: 1-306-966-2852
    • Providing information and referral support to individuals needing mental health support

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