Canadian Poultry Magazine

Features Farmer Health/Safety Health
4-H Canada launches Healthy Living Initiative

New program supports emotional, physical well-being of rural youth.

November 20, 2018
By Canadian Poultry magazine

The initiative will employ the 4-H Canada positive youth development approach.

4-H Canada announced a new program Tuesday that will support the emotional and physical well being of rural youth across Canada.

Called the 4-H Canada Healthy Living Initiative, the two-year program begins in spring 2019.

The collaborate effort is supported by founding partner Farm Credit Canada (FCC), UFA Co-operative Limited, DowDuPont and Cargill, who’ve collectively pledged $150,000 toward the initiative.

“This is an investment in young people who will play a large role in shaping the future of Canadian agriculture,” says Michael Hoffort, FCC president and CEO.

The first year of the program will see the creation of resources and tools that will support youth facing mental health challenges.

It will communicate how to access resources or recognize when a peer needs support as well.

The second year will focus on physical health, nutrition and well-being.

The approach is intended to help youth both navigate challenges and develop their strengths while focusing on wellness.

The healthy living initiative is in response to the critical needs of youth in rural communities in Canada.

Young people living in rural and remote communities are at greater risk of experiencing struggles related to their mental and physical well-being.

They also lack the resources and services that might be available to those in more urban areas.

The goal of this initiative is to support the 25,000 4-H youth members across Canada to lead lives that balance emotional, mental and physical health and remove barriers to access.

As part of the two-year commitment, 4-H Canada will also deliver webinars and workshops and assist in the creation of resources that will be made available for the over 7,700 4-H volunteer leaders that are critical mentors and role models in adult-youth partnerships.

These resources will train volunteers and offer resources that help recognize youth in distress and provide the access to support they need.

“The Healthy Living Initiative means offering youth not only the tools and resources to face challenges, but also opportunities to learn how to thrive,” says Shannon Benner, 4-H Canada CEO.