The AgriSafe Network has launched a national network of agricultural professionals that are committed to sharing non-proprietary information to ensure that resources and trainings are widely disseminated to farmers and ranchers. The AgriStress Response® network seeks to eliminate the stigma around accessing support for mental health including stress, depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Twenty percent of any population has mental health complications, including farmers and ranchers. Stigma and privacy concerns associated with mental health issues may mean that many people do not seek out available behavioral health services. Many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond their control. For example, isolation, variability in weather, lack of access to health services, and low commodity prices have a direct impact on mental health. Good health, including mental health, is a key factor in one’s ability to keep farming.
A 2021 national poll conducted by American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has shown financial issues and the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting farmers’ mental health. This recent data speaks to the urgency of identifying local resources that can help farmers and ranchers cope with chronic stress and mental health concerns. The AgriStress Response network will build up resources from the limited tools that currently target rural and agricultural communities.
Dr. Tara Haskins, DNP, RN, AgriSafe’s Total Farmer Health Director, provides clinical, educational, and mental health expertise for health initiatives and funded programming. She serves as lead for the AgriStress Response network and mental health programs, drawing from her clinical experiences in behavioral health and substance use disorders.
AgriSafe is proud of its history to “Protect the People Who Feed the World,” through programming targeting rural health professionals, ag producers and health and safety professionals. To connect with the AgriStress Response network, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AgriStressResponse. To see the mental health resources, trainings, and information AgriSafe provides, see our Mental Health health topic page in the AgriSafe Health Hub.
For more information on AgriStress Response network and Total Farmer Health programming, please contact Dr. Haskins at (318) 545-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To explore options for sponsoring AgriSafe initiatives, please contact Natalie Roy, AgriSafe Chief Executive Officer, at email@example.com.
This work is supported by grant number 2019-70028-30434 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.