Mental Health and Farm Workers
According to a 2022 Farm Bureau poll, “farmers, ranchers and people in rural areas are more comfortable talking about stress and mental health challenges with others…the stigma around seeking help or treatment has decreased in rural and farm communities but is still a factor.” The GPCAH knows stress and mental health challenges can cause all sorts of physical and emotional problems, leading to more injuries and deaths on the farm. We are providing these resources to help farm workers find help when they need it and to train people who work with farmers how they can also help.
Ag Worker Mental Health Training
The GPCAH is providing presentations below (click to download) to anyone interested in helping others understand the stressors facing farmers. This was originally developed and used in 2019 to help crisis volunteers better communicate with farmers experiencing stress. Slides and new resources were added in 2022. Notes are included to discuss how to talk about materials on each slide.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month so today we are joined by Meg Moynihan from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Don Wick, host of the TransFARMation podcast, to talk about their project called Airing Out Farm Stress. They received a pilot grant from the Great Plains Center for their project, which aimed to tackle the silence around how the stresses inherent in agricultural production can affect the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of agricultural workers. What started out as 60-second radio segments turned into a successful podcast, TransFARMation, which covers in-depth mental health topics by sharing farmers’ stories.
National resources for information about stress and mental health:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- AgCountry Farm Credit Services: Mental Health Resources for Farmers
- American Farm Bureau: Farm State of Mind
- American Fdn. for Suicide Prevention: Talk Saves Lives
- Farm Aid: Resource Guide for Farm Crisis Support
- Farm Crisis Center
- Make it OK
- Michigan State University: Managing Farm Stress
- National Farmers Union: Farm Family Resource Initiative
- National Alliance on Mental Health
- Rural Health Info Hub: Mental Health in Rural Communities Toolkit
- Veterans Crisis Line
- Workplace Suicide Prevention: Resources for Implementing Suicide Prevention with Employees
In this video from The National Corn Growers Association, a Kansas farmer shares his struggle and encourages others to do so as well.