The Farmer and Rancher Mental Health (FARMh) Initiative is a patient-oriented research project funded by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Center for Patient Oriented Research, and the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation. In Phase One of this research project, key features of a farm-culture friendly mental health support system for Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers were identified. Based on the findings of Phase One, it was identified that there is a lack of knowledge about farm culture and there is an urgent need for accessible mental health services. 

Read Saskatchewan Polytechnic Farmer and Rancher Mental Health (FARMh) news release.

Project phases

Phase One of the FARMh Initiative research concluded in January 2023. Preliminary analysis indicates three primary themes that define farm culture: it is a family affair, identities are related to strong characteristics, and there are unique stressors. In addition to this, it has been identified that there are three primary barriers for producers to seek mental health support: accessibility, awareness, and stigma. Based on the findings of Phase One, a Saskatchewan network for agriculture producer mental health has been created: SaskAgMatters.

Phase Two of the FARMh Initiative research is currently underway. There are several studies being conducted in this phase of the research including: Breaking the Barrier: Rodeo Athlete Access to Mental Health Services and Saskatchewan Registered Massage Therapists’ Experiences with Farmer and Rancher Clients’ Mental Health

Project team

Our researcher team is made up of farmers/ranchers, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, a rural massage therapist/acupuncturist, a rural physician, a rural suicide interventionist, a biostatistician, industry partners and undergraduate student research assistants. Everyone on the team has a rural or farming background.

Read more about the FARMh project team.

Seen in the news

Contact us

For more information about this study or to volunteer please contact:

Michelle Pavloff RN, PhD
Research chair, Rural Health

For mental health support in Saskatchewan:

Call or text 211 (211 Saskatchewan)

Farm Stress Line

Mobile Crisis Helpline

Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Help Line

Crisis Suicide Helpline

Canadian Mental Health Outreach Clinic
306-384-9333 (Saskatoon)
306-766-7800 (Regina)

Wellbeing Course for Agriculture Producers


  • Establishment Grant (2022-25) $119,000 (Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation)
  • Sprout Grant (2020-22) $180,000 (Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and the Saskatchewan Center for Patient Oriented Research) 
  • Mental Health & Addictions Program $3,750 (Saskatchewan Center for Patient Oriented Research)
  • Cargill $5,000
  • Private donors $26,800

 farmh sponsor logos, which include Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research, and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation