June 24, 2021 Webinar by Jesse Adams with Howatt HR.

The premise of this webinar delivered by Jesse Adams from Howatt HR was to give some insight into the psychological health and safety of Canadian Men, and how it affects them at work, and what they can do as leaders to promote mental health and wellness.

We are reminded that our mental health can fluctuate day to day on the mental health continuum from flourishing, reacting, languishing, to mental illness.  This can depend on our actions, genetics, and the environment, as well as how charged our batteries are when we show up on the farm.  Do you show up with a fully charged battery? Do you leave at the end of the day on empty or anywhere in between?

The resilience of the farm and those who work on the farm is a joint venture.  This stems from the acceptance that workers mental health is influenced by what the farm owner and other workers do to promote and support mental health and wellness.  Positive mental health is dependent on the two-way communication framework.  Just like for physical health and safety, safety meetings act as a tool for two-way communication.  Prevention of injuries and incidents relies heavily on this concept, so why not reflect this same principle into mental health and wellness of everyone working on the farm?

Actions by employers that help build the accountability network include:

  • Understanding priorities
  • Feeling of appreciation
  • Managing workload
  • Positive customer interactions
  • Absence of workplace conflict
  • Sense of pride in work
  • Clear roles
  • Trust in direct manager
  • Positive peer interactions
  • Feeling safe

Actions by employees that help build the accountability network include:

  • Sleep
  • Physical activity
  • Social connection
  • Nutrition
  • Mental Fitness
  • Relaxation
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Passion
  • Work life blending
  • Job satisfaction

Howatt HR has a tool called the Mental Fitness Index that gathers information on a variety of factors that are important in assessing the extent to which your farm is thriving.  The tool was developed to explore and interpret the psychological health and safety (PHS) of the farm. The Mental Fitness Index is free to use and you will receive a report that outlines the farms:

  • behavioural readiness – health motivation, openness to participate, value alignment and barriers to action
  • psychological health & safety indicator – coping skills, life, work, and physical behaviours and stigma, PHS Factor 5, comfort, PHS leader competency, and trust
  • employer supports – programs and polices to support employees
  • thrive Index – outcome measures that demonstrate risk to psychological health and safety as well as productivity

Of the men across Canada from various workplaces who have completed the mental fitness index, here are some highlights.


  • High stigma and discomfort about mental health in the workplace
  • Men’s mental health currently under strain in the workplace
  • Physical health is not a priority


  • Co-worker relationships
  • Positive outlook maintained


  • Stigma
  • Comfort in having conversations
  • Managing emotions
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition

Here is the score:

The results can be interpreted in the four pillars as the physical health of me is at risk; their mental health is surviving, and the workplace and life factors are succeeding.

The following infographic outlines issues in which men have experienced, the percentage of men who experienced the issue, and the percentage of men who reported or took action on it.

I found it interesting the high percentage of men who would take action in regards to their physical safety but the low percentage of men who took action when it affected their mental health and safety.

Now that we have had a peek at the results what can be done to help improve mental health and fitness on the farm.

Use the Mental Fitness Playbook (2020-08-25_MF-Playbook_FINAL.pdf) to start you on your mental fitness journey in managing your mental health and wellness.