The Guardian Network is a volunteer, peer-driven community of mental health advocates that supports Ontario’s farming community.

A Guardian is an individual, over the age of 18, who is likely to be in contact with farmers through their work, volunteer activities, or their place in their community and has successfully completed The Guardian Network training program.

Guardians are equipped with strategies and tools to identify when someone is struggling with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide; have constructive conversations about their struggles and open up the discussion around mental health; and connect individuals with appropriate mental health and crisis resources.


of farmers meet the classifications for DEPRESSION


of farmers report HIGH STRESS


of farmers meet the classifications for ANXIETY


of farmers are more susceptible than the general population to CHRONIC STRESS, which can lead to PHYSICAL and MENTAL ILLNESS

The Guardian Network was developed in collaboration with stakeholder groups, including various agricultural sectors, suicide preventionists, mental health clinicians, government representatives and professionals from social work, psychotherapy, epidemiology, and education.

The Guardian Network is based upon the award winning AGIR en Sentinelle pour la prévention du suicide program created by the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (Suicide Prevention Association of Québec) and the Union of Agriculture Producers in Québec. The curriculum and program have been adapted for the Ontario context.

A CMHA Ontario program

What is a Guardian?

Primarily, a Guardian can be any individual within or connected to the agriculture community who wants to enhance their understanding of mental health and signs of suicide to support their personal and professional networks. Once a Guardian completes the Guardian Network training program, they have basic knowledge of suicide prevention principles and resources to support their community.

The Guardian’s Role

Who Can Be a Guardian?

Guardians are individuals in regular contact with farmers through their work, volunteer activities, or their place in their community. This may include individuals who interact directly with farm owners, operators, or workers, such as veterinarians, breeders, livestock dealers, seed or feed salespeople, financial advisors, accountants, milk truck drivers, field service representatives or other community members. It also includes farmers and farm workers themselves who are in regular contact with other members of the farming community.

Become a Guardian

Program Partners & Supporters

This project is funded in part by the Governments of Canada and Ontario under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (Sustainable CAP),
a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.