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.
Comprehensive list of resources, including each of the regional Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) websites.
Collection of national and local resources, as well as directive information on mediation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and natural disaster assistance.
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.
Resources specific to the Midwest.
Contains pamphlets with signs and symptoms of stress, a toolkit for cultivating resilience in rural communities, and recorded webinars.
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.
Hotline where farmers can talk to a skilled, compassionate mental health professional (1-800-691-4336).
Partnership with Pine Rest Mental Health Services providing mental health help and support to farmers, families, and workers.
Program that adopted the Mental Health First Aid program to assist farmers dealing with mental health issues and opioid misuse.
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.
Interactive website that helps identify unique stressors facing farmers and resources that assist in managing stress and finding help.
The program provides $100 stipends to help farmers prioritize their self-care needs. They center the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) farmers, who make up 50% of their recipients, and LGBTQ+ farmers.
Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas has a dedicated website section on farmer well-being that includes crisis-hotline contact information and an interactive map of resources for farmer stress assistance.
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.
Greener Pastures is a documentary about mental health in rural areas focusing on four midwestern families as they persevere through climate change, industrialization, and mental health crises. The accompanying educational discussion guide provides statistics on the U.S. farming crisis, a discussion framework, and 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.