App to help producers monitor mental health

·2 min read

A new app has been released that aims to help agricultural producers monitor and track their mental health. Avail, produced by Bridges Health based in Saskatoon, offers a confidential system for producers to record and analyze their mental health while providing online resources, such as articles and videos. The app also assists in finding care providers in their communities. The app encourages regular check-ins and will note patterns in the data that is logged.

Users can set their distance as to how far they’d be willing to travel, and the app tells them all the professionals within the area that are available to assist them.

“In Saskatchewan, the agriculture sector impacts our business and our families, so we were honoured to work alongside the government and participants to enhance this mental health and wellness tool,” said Anderson Kyle, a Business Development Consultant with Bridges Health.

Bridges Health won the 2020 Innovation Challenge and received $10,000 to develop the new Avail app. The app was presented last week to the Government of Saskatchewan.

“The Avail app provides users with a proactive and individualized solution to take an active role in managing their mental health,” Kyle added.

The Innovation Challenge encourages Saskatchewan-based tech companies to find unique ways to tackle the many issues that the public face. Previous projects include tech responses to rural crime, a hands-free way to ask for permission to hunt or fish on private land online, and an app to track landfill waste.

The Avail app was designed to assist producers monitor their mental well-being as the job can lead to high stress, especially during times such as harvest season or planting season.

“Avail is a holistic health and wellness tool, providing users with a technology that measures, manages, and enhances their mental well-being,” he concluded.

The app touches on multiple topics, including stress, anxiety, healthy eating, and physical activity.

Once an individual fills out the proper information on the app, they will be provided with a spreadsheet that shows the user where they are doing well and where they can improve.

The app is currently only available to farmers and producers in Saskatchewan, but Bridges Health has plans to eventually expand the product worldwide.

The app can be found on Google Play and the App Store for those interested in downloading it.

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator