For three years OHCOW’s MFW program has provided placements to 4th year nursing students from Brock University, focusing on projects on issues affecting Ontario migrant farm workers. 

Below are summaries of two projects we are currently working on.    

Pesticide Safety and the role of the clinician 

OHCOW’s MFW program continues our work on the issue of pesticide safety and migrant farm workers. With the help of Tania Trehan (Brock Univ. nursing student), we have developed a questionnaire aiming to better understand the clinical resource needs of healthcare providers in identifying and addressing low level pesticide exposure among patients working in agriculture. This project asks healthcare providers to fill out a short questionnaire to identify their experience with agricultural pesticide exposure among their patients,as well as their familiarity with pesticide education and resource information.The questionnaire will be distributed to 6 community health centres in key regions of agricultural industry.This project will identify opportunities to support clinicians through the development of useful tools and informative resources on pesticide exposure, reporting, as well as safety and prevention messaging.

Mental health in Agriculture 

As part of OHCOW’s 2017 MFW health forum, we invited Dr. Andria Jones Bitton (Univ. Guelph) to present on her innovative research looking at the mental health challenges of agricultural producers, alongside a presentation by Stephanie Mayell (Univ. Toronto), whose research focused on the mental health of Jamaican migrant farm workers. We recognize that increasing understanding of the mental health challenges of both agricultural producers/employers as well as of workers will lead to useful, mutual learning, as well as an opportunity for more comprehensive and effective strategies for mental health supports and interventions in the industry. With the help of Karen Rhodes (Brock Univ. nursing student), we are continuing this work with the planning of a stakeholder meeting, where we hope to involve other system partners as well as mental health  professionals in order to collaborate on this issue. 

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