The Government of Saskatchewan is creating a mobile app to improve the mental health of farmers.
In a release on Thursday, the province said calls to the Saskatchewan farm stress line doubled in 2018-2019 compared to the previous year.
It states this year is placing new pressures on people within the agriculture sector with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The app named ‘Avail’, which was developed by Bridges Health in Saskatoon, was chosen during a province-wide Innovation Challenge in the spring of 2020.
During the event, technology entrepreneurs presented different solutions to assist Saskatchewan farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers in actively monitoring their mental health.
Farmers will track their mental health by submitting wellness data with other supports available through videos, articles, and online tips.
The app will supply the workers with immediate help from a personal support network if needed.
Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor mentioned there are farmers who won’t ask for help when it comes to mental health.
“Having access to an app in the privacy of one’s own home will enhance the likelihood of people asking for help when they need it the most.”
Bridges Health will collaborate with the government for 16-weeks to develop the app along with receiving $10,000 to fund the project.