Mental Health Resources for Farmers

Although farming is one of the most rewarding occupations, everyday life can be full of stress and anxiety. From extreme weather events and pandemic impacts to fluctuating commodity prices, labor stresses, and so much more, farmers and ranchers today face increased mental health challenges. In an American Farm Bureau Federation poll of rural adults, 61 percent of farmers and farmworkers reported experiencing more stress and mental health challenges in 2021 than in 2020.

 

Despite this, affordable mental health support services are less available and accessible in rural areas. As a result, farmer advocacy groups across the nation have developed online mental health resources for individuals engaged in farming, ranching, or other agriculture-related occupations.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling, the resources below may be helpful.

USDA Farm Stress Resources

Comprehensive list of resources, including each of the regional Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) websites.

National Farmers Union Farm Crisis Center

Collection of national and local resources, as well as directive information on mediation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and natural disaster assistance.

American Farm Bureau Federation Farm State of Mind

Directory of rural mental health resources in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico.
Includes warning signs of mental health challenges, steps to help, and conversation starters.

UMASH Stress and Mental Health

Resources specific to the Midwest.
Contains pamphlets with signs and symptoms of stress, a toolkit for cultivating resilience in rural communities, and recorded webinars.

Farm Well Wisconsin

Tips and tricks for wellness, including great trainings and workshops on eating and sleeping well, managing stress, staying fit, and preventing injury.
Features a video with Dan Wegmueller, a fourth-generation dairy farmer and the host of the podcast Farm for Thought.

Avera Farm and Rural Stress Hotline

Hotline where farmers can talk to a skilled, compassionate mental health professional (1-800-691-4336).

MSU Managing Farm Stress (Teletherapy Program)

Partnership with Pine Rest Mental Health Services providing mental health help and support to farmers, families, and workers.

Mississippi State University PROMISE Initiative

Program that adopted the Mental Health First Aid program to assist farmers dealing with mental health issues and opioid misuse.

R Is for Rural and Resilient Webinar Series

Collection of videos and presentations by doctors and extension professionals on farmer stress issues and mental health.
Features the documentary On the Farm, created to raise awareness about the unique challenges farmers face and their impact on farmers’ well-being.

American Psychological Association

Interactive website that helps identify unique stressors facing farmers and resources that assist in managing stress and finding help.

Farmer Letters on Mental Health

Dan Wegmueller is a fourth-generation Wisconsin farmer working on building a multigenerational legacy of sustainability and conservation. In his letter below, he discusses the challenges of the farming business, how he has fought the pressure to expand and industrialize his farm, and the endless demands his father faced growing corn and soybeans. His story demonstrates the experience of many U.S. farmers today who face generational challenges in farming and the importance of breaking the cycle to pursue more sustainable farming methods.

Dan Wegmueller’s Letter

For immediate mental health needs, contact the following:

 

Farm Aid Hotline
Dial 800-FARM-AID (327-6243)
Monday through Friday, 9–5 p.m. Eastern

 

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Dial 988
24/7
Live online chat

 

 

Other Resources

 

Preventing Farmer Suicide: Collaboration and Communication
In this video, experts from national farm organizations discuss the challenges facing today’s farmers, warning signs of suicide, and how communities can help farmers and their families.