You look after the herd. You maintain the tractors. It's important to look after yourself too.
It is recognized that a lot of farmers feel uneasy about seeking professional help due to what people may think. Knowing what to expect when you reach out for help can make the experience less stressful.
The following information is provided so that you will know what to expect when you decide to reach out for help on Prince Edward Island.
Are you in distress or a crisis?
For immediate assistance, call the Island Helpline at 1-800-218-2885 day or night, any day of the year.
A trained and caring staff member or volunteer will help you figure out what to do - be it crisis intervention, emotional support, or helping to problem solve.
In an emergency, call 9-1-1.
Looking for medical advice?
A. Speak to your family doctor or nurse practitioner for a referral to a qualified mental health care professional.
B. Visit a Mental Health Walk-in Clinic. You can just drop in to a mental health walk-in clinic; no appointment or referral is needed. At a clinic, you will see a registered mental health therapist immediately for 45-60 minutes. There is no cost for this service. Check for walk-in clinic locations and hours. After a visit to a walk-in clinic, you may be referred to a community mental health service for more support.
C. Go to the closest hospital emergency department. Wait times at hospital emergency can be very long. It is very stressful to be alone at this time. If at all possible, have someone stay with you. Be prepared to discuss previous diagnosis and if anything has been taken, including alcohol, and prescription or non-prescription drugs.
Looking for community supports and services?
Call the Farmer Assistance Program 1-800-736-8006
Canadian Mental Health Association, PEI Division
CMHA PEI has four peer support specialists who host support groups and one-on-one sessions, and can accompany clients to appointments. Call 902-628-3666 to make an appointment.
CMHA also offers individual and family support, maintains a list of self-help groups [PDF] and provides the PEI Helping Tree, designed for Islanders to help find help and supports. [PDF]
I CAN for Adults
ICAN (Conquer Anxiety and Nervousness) is a free telephone coaching service available at no cost to Islanders, aged 18+. The ICAN program can help you to overcome symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some of the other benefits of the program include:
- learned skills that you can use long after the program is over;
- convenience as there is no need for travel or to miss work or school for an appointment. Your coach will book a time that works for you;
- privacy - take your phone calls from the comfort of your home or any other location where you are comfortable.
The first step is to register online and give consent to receive help from the program. Once your application is processed, you will begin to have a weekly phone call with a professional coach for about 45 minutes. The ICAN website outlines how your personal information is safeguarded.
Need support for addictive behaviour?
To find a meeting, call 902-892-2103, visit area81aa.ca or check the Self Help Group listing in the Guardian on Wednesdays, page C1.
Find 24-hour meeting information at carna.ca or call 1-800-205-8402.
SMART Recovery Groups
SMART is an alternate recovery program for addictive behaviours. Groups meet in Charlottetown and Summerside. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text a group leader at 902-330-4357 or find meeting details from the link below.
Download Self Help Groups for Addictive Behaviours [PDF]
Children and youth of all ages are sensitive to family dynamics and pick up on tension in the home. It's only natural that kids too experience stress, anxiety and emotional overload and may also need support.
A school counselor can support a student who is struggling with mental distress and/or mental health problems.
Mental Health Walk-in Clinics
Services are available to PEI residents of all ages, including youth - see above for details.
Strongest Families Program
For PEI children and youth, aged 3 to 17, and their families, and delivered online and via telehealth services.
Student well-being teams
Each PEI family of schools has a team of professionals available to provide counseling and support to children and youth who are struggling with mental, social and physical health issues.
Kids Help Phone
Call 1-800-668-6868 24/7 or text 686868