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The Guardian Network is a volunteer suicide prevention program.

The Guardian Network is a volunteer suicide prevention network which 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 the signs of mental distress, react to farmers at-risk, and connect individuals with appropriate mental health and crisis resources.

35%

of farmers meet the classifications for DEPRESSION

45%

of farmers report HIGH STRESS

58%

of farmers meet the classifications for ANXIETY

68%

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 is an observer of change in individuals which may indicate a developing mental health issue. A Guardian is a caring individual who has successfully completed The Guardian Network training program in order provide acute support to producers who are presenting at-risk for suicide.

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 work directly with farm owners/operators like 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 provided with funding by the governments of Canada and Ontario, including
support from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial initiative.