The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) launched a comprehensive online directory of resources for farmers, ranchers and their families who are struggling with stress and mental health challenges amidst the pandemic.
In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the AFBF index will provide users with stress and mental health resources in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico. The telehealth directory, which will be housed on the Farm State of Mind website, will feature several resources, including crisis hotlines and support lines, counseling services, training opportunities, podcasts, videos, and published articles. Listings for crisis support, counseling and behavioral health resources that are available nationwide are also included on the website.
“For far too long, farmers and ranchers have been trying to cope with increasing levels of stress on their own,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Our Farm State of Mind campaign is encouraging conversations about stress and mental health in farming and ranching communities. It is so important to spread the word that no one has to go it alone.
“This new online directory of stress and mental health resources in every state gives farmers, ranchers and rural communities a user-friendly, one-stop-shop to find services in their area that can help them manage farm stress and find help for mental health concerns. Whether you’re looking for information about how to recognize and manage stress, trying to find counseling services in your area or are in need of crisis support, you can find help here.”
Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF), a member of AFBF that represents 136,000 farmers in the Sunshine State, said the new directory will go a long way in helping farmers persevere through the pandemic, as well as the daily demands of the agriculture industry.
“There are many demands set upon a farmer, their families and employees. From extreme weather and volatile market conditions to excessive workloads, it is important that we provide mental health resources to help our farming communities during times of stress,” Jason Mathis, FFBF’s Assistant Director of Ag Policy.
A national research poll conducted and published by AFBF in 2021 found that a majority of farmers’ mental health was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than half say they are personally experiencing more mental health challenges than they were a year ago.