At United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (UFA), we are committed to creating a culture of caring that values positive mental health for everyone, from those we work alongside to those we serve. We believe that creating a culture of caring not only keeps our people safe and healthy, but the rural communities in which they live and work, healthy and vibrant.
UFA is proud to recognize and promote mental health during Canadian Mental Health Week. For over 68 years, this week has focused on mental health awareness for Canadians.
At UFA, our aim is to promote well-being and healthy behaviour all year long. Our goal is to create a culture where genuine concern for each other is intrinsic and where mental health is embedded into our practices and policies, using a variety of best practice approaches, and demonstrating a long-term, in-depth commitment to mental health.
Ensuring that our communities are healthy is important and as part of our commitment, last year we announced $50,000, over two years, in support of two mental health initiatives created by 4-H Canada and the Do More Ag Foundation.
Of the $50,000 commitment, $40,000 supports 4-H Canada and its Healthy Living Initiative for rural youth. The remaining funds are in support of the Do More Agriculture Foundation.
“I am proud of UFA’s commitment to positive mental health. Are we there yet? Not by a long shot. We have work to do to promote mental health awareness but together we are creating a culture where we encourage people to talk about mental health, provide support to one another and demonstrate that, at times, we can all benefit from taking advantage of the programs available. And most of all, that we care about one another,” says Carol Kitchen, President and CEO.
“We promote safety and well-being because it not only makes us a stronger co-operative with stronger communities, but it also greatly enhances our ability to provide members with effective solutions. We aim to make physical health and mental health core to UFA’s identity, embedded in all of our employment and business practices across all of our locations,” says Don Smith, VP Petroleum Operations.
Mental well-being – how we think, feel and express ourselves –affects many different parts of our lives; it’s important we recognize when we, our co-workers or our neighbours are struggling and act quickly. For more information on Canadian Mental Health Week and where to go for resources and information please visit Canadian Mental Health Association, The Do More Agriculture Foundation or the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative.