Episode 40 - Sean Stanford - From The House of Commons to Volunteer Fire Fighting - Fighting Anxiety and PTSD on the farm
Episode 40 is here and I had the honour of interviewing Sean Stanford, twitter sensation, mental health in agriculture advocate, volunteer fire fighter and farmer. Sean speaks about his mental health journey in farming and fire fighting; his experience, how he copes, what he did to change his mental health, and what his family does during busy seasons.
Sean farms grain and is a volunteer fire fighter south of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. He farms various crops from wheat to flax and much more on his 650 acres! This year, they are growing wheat, canola and durum with the help of some irrigation systems.
When he thinks about mental health in agriculture, Sean thinks we have a long ways to go, but is hopeful with the various things that foundations, people, and companies are doing.
During this episode, Sean tells us about his first experience with mental health when he experienced chest pains and went to the hospital a few times, then was diagnosed with having an anxiety attack. From then out, Sean has been working on his mental health and PTSD. While it has been a long road, he is getting better and still working on himself - at the same time as advocating for our industry and what he thinks can happen in the future.
When at the hospital, all of Sean's tests came back clear even though he felt like he was dying and his chest pains kept getting worse. He was put on medication and was put on the path of seeing various therapists and community health specialists. Sean has seen various therapists to find the right fit and advocates for people finding help that works for them. With the help of his current therapists, he has changed a lot of his lifestyle to eat healthier in the tractor, exercise more, is on medication that helps level out the imbalances in his brain, and much more.
Not only has he dealt with the anxiety on the farm, he also went through exposure therapy with the help of his team to combat his PTSD and worked on piecing back together his puzzle to feel whole again.
I'm really happy to be able to bring this raw interview with Sean to you! Listen to find out more about Sean and his experience.
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