On Oct. 10, the Do More Agriculture Foundation (Do More Ag) launched the Walk With Me campaign in conjunction with World Mental Health Day to raise mental health awareness and honour the memories of those lost to suicide in the agriculture community. Participants are encouraged to invite others for a walk, share their stories and foster community connections, cultivating a supportive and understanding environment.
Chris Manley, founder of the Walk With Me campaign and a beef and sheep farmer in East Devon, England, initiated the campaign as a response to managing his own depression. “I regularly walk and journal, and created a short poem called ‘Walk with me’ that outlined the many feelings that someone might have when their mental health is low,” Manley explained in a press release.
“I thought to myself how lucky I am to have support, and wouldn’t it be terrible if someone felt alone, particularly on a farm? So I decided to post a video on social media of me walking and reciting the poem to start the campaign, to encourage people to walk and talk, as a step towards recovery.”
Manley is enthusiastic at the partnership between the Walk With Me campaign and The Do More Agriculture Foundation, aiming to support farmers in Canada and across the globe.
Do More Ag also announced that BASF Canada Agricultural Solutions (BASF) will match donations up to $10,000 to the Walk With Me campaign.
“No one should ever have to feel alone in their struggles, and having access to mental health support and resources is essential for those working in agriculture,” says Tabetha Boot, BASF head of communications and industry relations, in a press release.
Get involved and make a difference
Do More Agriculture invites everyone to partake in the Walk With Me campaign between Oct. 10 and 20 and play an active role in promoting mental health awareness.
To get involved:
Go for a walk: Walk and talk with a friend in person or over the phone. Use the hashtag #WalkWithMe and tag @domoreag on Twitter or Instagram to share your experience.
Honour others: Share the stories of those who have lost someone to mental illness. By honouring their memory, we raise awareness and promote understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and families affected by mental health challenges.
Share your story: Share your thoughts, experiences and stories about mental health. By sharing, you can inspire hope, create a sense of community, and support members of the agriculture industry.
Donate: Donations directly support Do More Ag’s three key pillars: awareness, community support, and mental health resources in the agriculture industry. Visit the Do More Ag website to make your contribution.
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