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Saskatchewan developing new mental health monitoring app for farmers

A new mobile app is being developed to help Saskatchewan farmers track their mental health and provide them with supports.

Bridges Health in Saskatoon was chosen to make the app named “Avail” after a challenge was sent out to technology entrepreneurs to come up with ways to assist farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers in monitoring their mental health.

The app will analyze wellness data supplied by the user and off supports through videos, articles and online tips as well as immediate help from a personal support network.

Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor says there are some farmers who are still uncomfortable when asking for help when it comes to mental health.

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“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 receive $10,000 and a 16-week collaboration with the government to develop the app.

“As a company founded and based in Saskatchewan, the agriculture sector touches both our business and our families,” says Bridges Health Vice President Leon Ferguson.  “We are honored to have this opportunity to work with government and partners to develop and advance this mental health and overall wellness tool.”

According to the province, calls to the Saskatchewan farm stress line doubled in 2018-2019 compared to previous years.

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