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Better Farming | Digital Mental Wellness Support

Originally published in Better Farming Magazine on October 2019 by Claire Duboc

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It’s staggering to think that two of every three Canadians who struggle with mental health concerns do not seek treatment. Often, they don’t seek help because of time constraints to access face to-face therapy, the unavailability of qualified therapists, cost and worries over social stigma. Those barriers can be multiplied in rural areas, where fewer services are available and people need to travel longer distances to reach support.

That’s why Beacon, a therapist assisted Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) program was developed. Delivered privately and securely through a digital platform to any web-enabled device, Beacon’s approach to mental wellness is designed for people who may be dealing with mild to moderate depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mental management skills Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the gold-standard psychotherapy approach to improving mood and
addressing anxiety challenges. With CBT, a therapist guides you through readings and activities to help you develop resilience and coping skills.
The concept behind CBT begins with the negative or distorted thoughts we have and explores how realistic they are. Our thoughts,
behaviours and emotions can influence each other so, when we identify how they are related and what they trigger, we can learn to improve how we feel. CBT helps us manage our feelings so we may ultimately develop a healthier, more positive outlook.

This new form of mental health care is designed for individuals age 16 years and older, with clear appeal to farmers who often have inflexible and seasonal work schedules. Beacon focuses on early intervention to mental wellness issues as a key to effective recovery. The program pairs each client with a registered mental health professional for the duration of therapy.

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