Mental health was a big focus of the Thanks For Farming Tour held in Winkler last week.

One of the keynote speakers was Chris Beaudry, a farmer from Saskatchewan and also a coach with the 2017/18 Humboldt Broncos, the team involved in the bus accident.

The focus of Beaudry's presentation was the unpredictable nature of farming.

"When things get unpredictable, it brings out the stubbornness pattern in us. This pattern is developed early in life when situations that we can't control show up. Things get out of control. What do we learn as a child, how do we deal with that? We become hard, we become stubborn, and how does that show up today for us? Are we actually acting from a place of choice or are we just reacting from this stubborn pattern," he said.  "If you get a hail storm, if you get too much rain, not enough rain, how does that show up? How do we become hard and indecisive? Even in good times, if you have a good crop, what happens inside of you that makes you act from this pattern and not from a place of choice."

Beaudry commented on the importance of talking about mental health.

"I think it's really important and just the fact that it's more than we make it out to be. That these things are more than just our emotions, they're learned habits and because it's a learned habit, it's something that can change. We're the only ones that can change it. It actually invites us to be fully responsible for our lives, and when we become fully responsible, it means that most of the things happening in our lives are up to us."

He encouraged people to reach out if they're going through a difficult time.

"One of the most powerful things out there is sharing your story. You don't know who that's going to affect and you may be very surprised that it affects you. It could be the catalyst for your healing and someone else's and that's going to help other people share as well and that's actually why I'm here today."