Even in the best of times, farming can be an incredibly high-stress occupation. Unpredictable weather, crop disease, volatile markets, heavy workloads, and social isolation are just a handful of the challenges that farmers may face. But between persistently low prices, climate change, and trade uncertainty, times have been particularly tough in farm country – and it’s taking a toll on farmers’ mental wellbeing.
While farmers experience higher levels of psychological distress and depression than the general population, they are less likely to seek help for mental health issues. Even for those who do seek help, resources may not be readily available, as 60 percent of rural Americans live in areas with mental health professional shortages.
Recognizing these immense challenges, National Farmers Union (NFU) is partnering with Farm Credit and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) to help family members, friends, and neighbors address the farm stress crisis in their own communities. In this free online training, participants will learn to:
- Understand sources of stress
- Recognize warning signs of stress and suicide
- Identify effective communication strategies
- Reduce stigma related to mental health concerns
- Connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources
This course is available to all Farmers Union members and employees at no cost.