Lauren Van Ewyk, M.Sc.MHC, RSW

Co-Founder, CEO

Lauren Van Ewyk is an engaging speaker, registered social worker, foster mom and agricultural mental health advocate. She has appeared in numerous radio, television and print articles concerning the issues of adoption, foster care, mental wellness and mental health in the agriculture sector.

Lauren works with businesses, individuals and families all across Canada to find hope and healing.

She and her husband raise sheep in southwestern Ontario.

Carrie Pollard, MSW, RSW


Carrie is an experienced psychotherapist and the wife of an incredibly wise grain farmer. She blends compassion, understanding and humour in her work and is passionate about helping others.

With a background in research and a dabbler in all things creative, she is actively involved in the writing and design of our social media, website, presentations, and e-literacy services.

Iris Parr

Director of Communication

Iris Parr is a wife, mother, teacher and author. She lives in northern Alberta with her husband Jason and daughter Olivia.  Their forever 4 ½ year old son, Mikail, passed away unexpectedly in 2015. She can be found managing their Air BnB: The Urban Cottage, helping renovate their 1946 home, encouraging others on social media: @irisparr, as well as on her blog: and through her recently published Advent Devotional A Thrill of Hope—Finding Hope, Peace, Joy and Love in the Minor Notes of Christmas.

Leann Benedetti, DVM, TICC, ACC, CCFP, BSc

Director of Veterinary Care

Dr. Leann Benedetti is an experienced relationship-based veterinarian that has 27 years of lived experienced in mixed, small animal and mobile veterinary practice, and practice ownership.  She is also a serial entrepreneur, ICF Certified Coach, mentor, public speaker, a mother, daughter, wife, pet parent, servant leader, volunteer contributor for multiple diverse organisations, CVO Peer Advisor and veterinary peer supporter.

In this role with the NFMHA Dr. Benedetti fulfills another value – Contribution, and brings her unique perspective and skillset to help build connection, collaboration, understanding and belonging on behalf of, and within, the agriculture, veterinary, and therapeutic communities.

Desaray Skretting

Co-Director of Student Engagement

Desaray was blessed to be the fourth generation to help work on the family farm in Southern Alberta where her family raised beef cattle and grew grain crops. She has since moved to pursue additional education and is currently a master’s of counselling psychology student from Yorkville University while working part-time in the veterinary industry.  

Desaray has a passion for sharing about the importance of agricultural informed therapy as well as helping other mental health professionals understand the unique demands of the Ag/veterinary industry.

Katie Anderson

Co-Director of Student Engagement

Katie Anderson is known for the many hats she wears in life. She is a wife, mother, teacher, counsellor, rancher, and self proclaimed karaoke star.

Katie is passionate about agriculture, and mental health awareness within the industry. She is trained in Mental Health First Aid, and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). Katie hopes that through her work with NFMHA that she can meet the needs of the agricultural community, and help people in the ag industry look at seeking help- be it through therapy, seminars, or anything in between- as an act of wellness, not illness. She is excited for this opportunity and looks forward to connecting with students interested in becoming Ag Informed Therapists!

🧑🏽‍🌾When we take care of those in our charge, as leaders on the farm, being ‘in charge’ can be less daunting. Yes, leaders drive change and make things happen, but when we take care of our people, they tend to take care of us as well. 🚜#farmleadership #farmleadershipdevelopment #Farmfamilies #intentionalliving #CommunitySupport #FarmLife #MentalHealth #Wellbeing #FarmingTips #StayPresent #nfmha #nfmhalliance #farmermentalhealth #ranchermentalhealth #agmentalhealth #MentalHealthAwareness #BreakTheStigma #mentalhealthmatters #farmermentalhealthmatters #ruralmentalhealthmatters #farmermentalhealth #ruralmentalhealth 🚜 ... See MoreSee Less
🧑🏽‍🌾 How are you growing as a leader on the farm? Here are 5 Key Leadership Skills we can develop as we grow in our leadership roles on the farm. Join us this month as we explore the theme of leadership on the farm and the connection to mental health. 🚜#farmleadership #farmleadershipdevelopment #farmfamilies #IntentionalLiving #communitysupport #farmlife #mentalhealth #wellbeing #farmingtips #staypresent #nfmha #nfmhalliance #farmermentalhealth #ranchermentalhealth #agmentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #BreaktheStigma #mentalhealthmatters #farmermentalhealthmatters #ruralmentalhealthmatters #farmermentalhealth #ruralmentalhealth 🚜 ... See MoreSee Less
Calling all-Social Workers-Counsellors-Psychotherapists-StudentsWe offer training in Agriculture Informed Therapy (AIT) to help you better understand your rural farming and ranching clients resulting in a more successful therapeutic alliance.Find more info on our website, send us a DM or an email and we'd love to connect with y#AIT#aginformedtherapye#nfmhan#nfmhalliancei#farmersupportfarmersr#farmstrongt#farmermentalhealthe#farmerwellnessl#agmentalhealthe#farmfamilya#agmorethanevern#ruralrootedo#ruralwellbeingb#therapistsofinstagrama#psychotherapistsofinstagrama#socialworkersofinstagrama#supportoneanotherother ... See MoreSee Less
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