Become a Guardian

Interested in becoming a Guardian?

Eligibility Requirements

  • Guardians must be over the age of 18.
  • Guardians must successfully complete the Guardian Network training program and evaluation.

Here’s How it Works

  • Step One:Submit the online application form.
  • Step Two:Candidates will be contacted and assessed for readiness in becoming a volunteer Guardian.
  • Step Three:Successful applicants will be notified and asked to register for the 7-hour training program.
  • Step Four:The Guardian Network Training Program
  • Step Five:Candidates who complete the training program and the final evaluation will become volunteer Guardians in their communities.

About the Program

Program Trainers

Prospective Guardians will complete an extensive 7-hour virtual or in-person, training with a Guardian Network instructor/trainer. Guardian Network trainers are mental health professionals who support Guardians to learn about suicide prevention. Trainees will complete modules and will learn how to recognize members of the farming community struggling with mental health concerns (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress, etc.) and identify and address warning signs of suicide.

Learning Skills

Participants will learn the skills necessary to identify signs of mental health distress and initiate conversations with farmers about mental well-being. They will learn how to verify the presence of suicidal thoughts and collect information related to suicide planning.

  • Learn how to connect farmers and/or their family members with mental health and crisis supports and resources.
  • Learn how to maintain strict confidentiality, be able to set boundaries and have realistic expectations of their Guardian role.
  • Understand how to access ongoing support specifically tailored to Guardians to ensure their own well-being.

After the Program

Ongoing Guardian Support

It is particularly important that Guardians support their own well-being. This happens through individual counselling sessions available to Guardians, opportunities to network with other Guardians, and an annual conference that will provide additional learning opportunities. Additionally, Guardians will have access to a dedicated staff member to support them in their volunteer role.

  • All Guardians have access to individual counselling sessions.
  • Guardians are assigned a CMHA Ontario staff point-person for ongoing support.
  • Guardians will connect with others through Guardian-specific networking opportunities.
  • Guardians are encouraged to attend knowledge transfer events including the Guardian Network’s Annual Conference.

Many aspects of farming often come with significant challenges. Through observation, communication and caring, trained Guardians provide a supportive system that can be lifesaving.

Apply Now




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.