The Gleaner

Suicide Prevention Week: Ag community raises funds to secure psychosocial support

The 32nd annual Suicide Prevention Week took place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 under the theme: “Talking about suicide saves lives.” The Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie (UPA) highlighted this year’s campaign with a special edition of its regional newsletter, which included an update on the organization’s efforts to raise $100,000 to cover the salaries and expenses of two social workers who would be dedicated to the agricultural community as part of the Travailleurs de rang network.

The Ensemble, récoltons l’espoir! campaign was launched in 2021 with the goal of securing psychosocial support for farmers in the Montérégie until 2023. The UPA is working in partnership with a non-profit organization, Au Coeur des Familles Agricoles (ACFA), which will cover 75 per cent of the costs associated with the two support workers. The UPA is financing the remaining 25 per cent through its crowdfunding campaign, which has now reached 69 per cent of its goal.

At least $56,760 was raised last year, thanks to generous donors and funds brought in via the 2021 Gala des Agristars. The Éleveurs de porcs de la Montérégie donated $2,250 to the cause, and the Producteurs de lait de Montérégie-Ouest chipped in an additional $5,000. Donations were also made by local syndicates in Beauharnois-Salaberry ($5,000) and the Haut-Saint-Laurent ($1,000). (SR)

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