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    Mental Health

    Last updated on March 5th, 2024 at 01:13 pm

    If you or someone you know having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, call or text 988 or use their Live Online Chat. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    The AgriStress Helpline is a crisis response and resource line available to agricultural communities in CO, CT, MO, MT, OR, PA, TX, VA, WA, and WY. For more information visit the AgriStress Helpline page.

    Looking for a behavioral health provider who has knowledge on agriculture? Check out our AgriStress Provider Directory – every day we are adding more FarmResponse® trained providers, from across the nation.

    Mental Health Resources

    Mental health is vital to overall Total Farmer Health®. Mental health and physical health depend on each other. Productivity in agriculture requires a sound mind and body. When one or both are not functioning fully, your work and business can suffer. Ignoring signs that your farm equipment is not working properly can lead to more expense, down-time, and equipment loss. Ignoring signs that your mental well-being needs a tune up can also result in less time running your production, increased healthcare expense, and may eventually spillover to other parts of your life, including farm workers and those that you work so hard to care and provide for.  

    Many of the factors that affect agricultural production are largely beyond the control of the producer. But one thing you can control is your health decision making. Good health, including mental health, is a key factor that contributes to one’s ability to keep farming. Mental health complications, including for farmers and ranchers, is common. But stigma and privacy concerns associated with mental health issues may mean that many people do not seek out available behavioral health services.

    SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline, 1-877-SAMHSA7 (1-877-726-4727): Call this number toll-free to get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

    Mental Health Resources



    Resource Library

    18730A Lens to Understand Farmer Stress

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    13525Avian Influenza & Farmers’ Mental Health

    Learn about the impact of euthanizing birds on a farmers’ mental health and get connected with resources.

    12114BIPOC Mental Health Month Toolkit

    Mental Health America (MHA) develops a public education campaign dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
    Spanish Title: El mes de la salud mental de las personas BIPOC

    13825Black Producers in the United States: Ag Health and Safety Issues

    This presentation was given in Spring 2022 to AgriSafe staff on the agricultural health and safety issues impact Black producers in the United States. View now to see what we learned!

    8933Dealing with Anxiety about Infectious Disease

    This SAMHSA fact sheet provides tips for coping with stress during an infectious disease outbreak. It describes common signs of stress and how to recognize when to get help.

    12116El mes de la salud mental de las personas BIPOC

    Mental Health America (MHA) develops a public education campaign dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
    English Title: BIPOC Mental Health Toolkit

    13307Farm Futures: Mid-October 2022 (Special Issue)

    This special issue of Farm Futures covers mental health in farming.

    16931Farm Stress, Success, and Your Family

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    18424Finding Resiliency During Financial Strain

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    15191Foreign Animal Diseases and Farmers’ Mental Health

    Last updated on March 5th, 2024 at 01:34 pmThis is a resource discussing foreign animal disease (FAD) and the impact on farmers’ mental health. Learn how to identify signs of stress and depression, and how to care for yourself and your workers’ mental health in the event of a FAD outbreak. Spanish Title: Enfermedades Animales Extranjeras & Salud Mental de los Agricultores Last Updated: June …


    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    8894Idioma de las Personas Primero

    Person first language is a way of speaking that is emphasizes a person’s wholeness, while maintaining respect for an illness, condition, or experience. This is a Spanish language guide on how to use person first language in reference to mental health.
    English Title: Person First Language

    10354Mental Health

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    8890Mental Health and Its Impact on Farm Families

    A resource to be shared with everyone involved in agriculture focusing on mental health.
    Spanish Title: Salud Mental y el Impacto en el Bienestar de las Familias de Agricultores

    11488Mental Health Resources for Farmers

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    7150Parkinson’s Disease: Practical Workplace Adaptations

    This is a guide containing practical workplace adaptations for individuals living with Parkinson’s Disease.

    8892Person First Language

    Person first language is a way of speaking that is emphasizes a person’s wholeness, while maintaining respect for an illness, condition, or experience. This is a guide on how to use person first language in reference to mental health.
    Spanish Title: Idioma de las Personas Primero

    8673Salud Mental y el Impacto en el Bienestar de las Familias de Agricultores

    A Spanish language resource to be shared with everyone involved in agriculture focusing on mental health.
    English Title: Mental Health and Its Impact on Farm Families

    7149Seasons Change | You Remain: Promotional Toolkit for Seasonal Stress

    This Mental Health Resources social media toolkit serves the following goals: (1) create a cohesive, clear, understandable message promoting mental health topics and resources for AFF workers during the various seasons (2) increase engagement on farm safety and health social media platforms (3) disseminate resources about mental health for AFF workers.

    Spanish Title: Tempora de cambios | Usted se Queda: Kit de herramientas profesionales para el estrés estacional

    13674Sleep and Your Health

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    8906Suicide Prevention: Facts and Resources

    Resource from SAMHSA

    9895Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health

    Behavioral health resource for social distancing and quarantine time

    10566Tempora de cambios | Usted se Queda: Kit de herramientas profesionales para el estrés estacional

    This Spanish language Mental Health Resources social media toolkit serves the following goals: (1) create a cohesive, clear, understandable message promoting mental health topics and resources for AFF workers during the various seasons (2) increase engagement on farm safety and health social media platforms (3) disseminate resources about mental health for AFF workers.
    English Title: Seasons Change | You Remain: Promotional Toolkit for Seasonal Stress

    13305The National AgrAbility Project

    episode of Talking Total Farmer Health

    8932Throttle Back on Stress

    Article in Farm Progress by John Shutske

    8935Tips and Tricks for Better Sleep

    30 tips for getting better sleep at night.

    Spanish Title: Consejos y trucos para dormir mejor

    12735Ways to Stay Safe During Harvest

    Article in Farm Progress by Curt Arens

    15037Youth Mental Health Resources

    This document contains websites and helplines that might be beneficial to youth who are encountering stressors.


    Webinar TitleSummaryLink
    A Look at Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 and the Impacts to Farmers and Other Sectors (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Hurricane Michael was the worst agriculture disaster in Georgia’s history. The Department of Agriculture partnered with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop outreach and educational materials to support farmer mental health in the state. This work continued during COVID-19. The Georgia Food and Feed Rapid Response Team (GA RRT) and partner agencies created a COVID-19 Food, Agriculture, and Hospitality Stress Workgroup to assess the impacts of stress and mental health across the nation through 2 online surveys. This presentation will cover partnership building, the evolution of farmer crisis resources in Georgia, and the development of outreach initiatives to inform food, agriculture, hospitality workers, and the public about the importance of the ABCs of Compassion Fatigue that includes awareness, balance, and connections.

    Accessible Care for the Commercial Fishing Industry

    This webinar will introduce participants to current challenges in the commercial fishing industry and how they are impacting the mental health and well-being of commercial fishermen and their communities. The presenters will also share resources that are available (and in the process of being created) that are intended to promote mental health awareness and provide resources for fishermen seeking support.

    Addressing Military Needs in Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Veterans have a long history of service to our country through military service and through agriculture. The 2017 USDA report added a new special category of producers: “Producers with Military Service”. This report identified that 370,019 men and women agriculture producers claimed the title of US veteran, with 294,974 of them having spent more than 10 years on their farm. Recently much attention has highlighted veterans’ participation in farming. With this new attention, it is important to understand the unique characteristics and needs of those veterans. Registered nurses will be able address the needs of veteran farmers with a clearer understanding of the veteran experience compounded by the stress of farming and link veteran farmers to importance resources that support and build provider-client relationships and client resilience.

    Aging and Parkinson’s Disease in Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Parkinson’s disease impacts over one million people living in the United States. People living in rural areas may not have access to specialists and getting diagnosis may be difficult. Rural health care providers and agricultural professionals need to develop an awareness of this neurodegenerative disorder and understand the effects on agricultural work. Participants will learn about rural specific resources, safety screening for aspects of agricultural work, tips to maximize farmer functioning, and communication strategies with farm families.

    Agriculture and Alcohol Use (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration report that approximately 20.1 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder related to their use of alcohol or illicit drugs. However, little is known about the prevalence of substance use in the ranching and farming community due to stigma and the lack of research in this population. This webinar will focus on the prevalence of substance use in rural areas through the results of health screening efforts in agricultural work settings.

    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Healing Conversations: Healing Resources for Individuals Impacted by Suicide Loss

    The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) provides resources and connections for individuals and communities regarding suicide prevention and postvention. The aftermath of a suicide can be lonely and isolating for those left behind. This special webinar will focus on AFSP’s Healing Conversations, a no-cost program for people impacted by suicide loss. Learn how to access the program for yourself or someone you know struggling with suicide loss.

    Assessment of Opioid Misuse Risk Among Farmers in the Clinical Setting (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Prescription opioids are often the first-line therapy to treat chronic and acute pain among farmers. Prescribing opioids to farmer populations that may not seek regular treatment or have access to alternative therapies increases the risk for potential opioid misuse. Properly assessing for these characteristics among other abuse or addiction risk factors, is critical in providing treatment that is both appropriate and effective. The training module will seek to provide insight on misuse risk factors among farmers to better inform healthcare providers on warning signs in this specific cohort.

    Culture is Our Wellness (La Cultura Cura)

    This webinar introduces the practice of Curanderismo as an ethno-indigenous form of health and healing originating in Mesoamerica and practiced among many Latinx communities. The presenters will discuss their work with traditional medicine and present the specializations of Curanderismo, which can be used by people of all cultural backgrounds and various health providers with their patients. The presenters will begin with a brief opening ceremony, provide their personal narratives of traditional healing, a historical grounding of Curanderismo, present the specializations of the traditional medicine, and discuss current efforts to integrate traditional and allopathic medicine.

    Developing and Implementing a Pilot Agricultural Community Suicide Prevention Program for Farmers and Farm Families

    This presentation describes a pilot community-based suicide prevention program. Eighteen trainers from various farmer-connected groups such as commodity groups, equipment dealers, farm safety trainers, teachers, ministers, and rural health nurses obtained credentials as QPR (Question-Persuade-Refer) trainers. Over 450 persons were trained from these constituent groups in an 8-month period of time using training materials customized for the farming community. Using a Community of Practice framework challenges and successes in establishing mutual engagement, joint enterprise, a shared repertoire, and meaning in practice. Program revisions and the next steps forward are discussed.

    Expert Panel Discussion on Mediation and How It Can Help the Agricultural Community (April 28, 2021)

    Mediation is an option for resolving disputes designed to decrease stress and empower participants. A trained and impartial mediator helps people discuss their dispute by encouraging them to focus on identifying solution options with the goal of them reaching a mutually accepted agreement. Free to low-cost agricultural mediation is available in most states through the USDA Agricultural Mediation Program. Join in on this expert panel discussion on the mediation process and how it can help the agricultural community.

    Farm Theater: A Unique Approach to Health and Safety

    Farm Dinner Theater is an award winning intervention that is changing the actions of farm families for their health and safety. Based on a four year NIOSH research project, Dr. Reed will walk the audience through the development, history, evaluation and evolution of the Farm Dinner Theater. Since the research project ended communities have used the free toolkit to guide them in hosting their own theaters.

    Farm Youth Mental Health: What We Know and How to Help

    Caring for both the physical and emotional health of our next generation is crucial. From adapting to changes to feeling overwhelmed, like adults, children also experience stress and anxiety; however, they may be unsure of what they are feeling and how to respond. During this webinar, we will take a closer look at the status of farm youth mental health. We will recognize causes of stress among youth living in farming and rural communities and highlight the resources available to assist families.

    Hearing Loss Prevention for Forest Workers

    Hearing loss is common, especially among workers who are exposed to hazardous noise where they work. Forestry and Logging are among the top industry sectors for worker exposure to hazardous noise that can contribute to hearing loss. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), noise-exposed workers in Forestry and Logging had a higher percentage of hearing loss (21%) than all noise-exposed industries combined (19%). This training will discuss effective methods for preventing hearing loss from noise in …

    Invest in Your Health: Cultivating a Healthy Mind

    According to the CDC, rates of depression and anxiety climb significantly during the ages of 12-17. Suicide is the second leading cause of death of youths in the United States. This module opens an introductory discussion of mental health among teens and young adults with guidance from an adult educator. Focus is placed on decreasing stigma, improving mental health literacy, and positive coping skills for teens and young adults. The module showcases a high school agricultural student’s understanding of the agricultural mental health crisis, helping to frame mental health distress to academic and future career success. 

    Learning When To Put the Work Away: Finding Balance for Veteran Farmers

    Often times it is better to hear from someone experiencing the same things, rather than someone telling you they understand what you’re going through. Listen in as Shay Foulk discusses the real challenges and opportunities he has faced as a returning farmer veteran, and how he is learning and living ways to try to shut down. Honest, open, and frank, Shay will discuss topics that may seem uncomfortable to talk about with others in the industry, because they don’t quite understand what that transition is like in today’s environment. If you’re a farmer veteran in agriculture, someone who works with and wants to better understand veterans, or someone simply interested in the challenges and opportunities veterans in agriculture face today, be sure to tune in.

    Mental Health in Farm and Ranch Country: How Communities Can Help!

    In rural communities, the stigma associated with mental distress is hard to confront. Rural agricultural residents pride themselves as hard-working and dedicated to the land. These characteristics are sometimes in direct conflict with asking for help and self-care, leaving those around them at a loss for words and action. This presentation attempts to use the strengths of rural- self-reliance of communities and being a good neighbor- to frame the conversation of mental health and mental distress. Approaches to community assessment, community resources, and effective training programs to help rural residents craft solutions to grow a community network of mental health neighbors will be shared.

    Mental Health Innovations in Agricultural Communities

    This session is a panel presentation that communicates a forward vision addressing disparities in agricultural mental health. The presenters will explore the development of a farmer specific hotline, the efforts of a state department of agriculture, and suggested strategies to address a central objective-to meet the mental health needs of ALL agricultural producers and their families. This session is designed to spark discussion, ideas, collaborations between community and governmental groups to thoughtfully build a mental health safety net across cultures.

    Promoting Peace of Mind by Addressing Heirs’ Property and Implementing Effective Succession Planning Strategies (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Owning heirs’ property and experiencing the challenges that accompany this means of owning property can have a negative impact on the mental health and well-being of farmers and landowners. These impacts can be especially felt by individuals who make their living from the land. This webinar will help heirs’ property owners and the professionals who support them to understand the challenges that heirs’ property owners face, identify paths toward clearing title, and learn strategies for preventing the occurrence of heirs’ property in the future.

    Protecting Your Brain from Stress

    It’s no surprise that farmers’ behavioral health is positively correlated with crop production and healthy animals. But what happens when markets swing, there’s a drought, feed prices go sky-high, and you can’t find good employees? Stress. It’s the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. Stress creates chemical reactions in our bodies, and cortisol is released, our blood thickens, our blood pressure increases, and more. Chronic stress can lead to your brain shrinking from the constant flow of cortisol. This clearly illustrates why we need to find ways to release cortisol to protect our brain. Science shows that ongoing stress can negatively impact: your brain size and how it functions, the way your children and grandchildren are genetically equipped to handle stressors, and your susceptibility to depression or Alzheimer’s. The solutions are not complicated but are often overlooked. Michele helps you understand tools like rest, exercise, nutrition, and the value of including stress management as a part of their business.

    Spanish Title: Protege tu cerebro del estrés

    Request This Training
    Putting Time and Distance Between Someone at Risk of Suicide and Lethal Means: An Overview of the CALM Workshop

    Suicide is a leading cause of death in many communities and impacts hundreds of people. Creating mechanisms to put time and distance between someone struggling with a mental health concern and lethal means is an important part of creating hope and healing.  

    Safety Sensitivity of Opioid Use in High Hazardous Industries Such as Agriculture (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine released recommendations for opioid prescribing based on safety-sensitive occupations. Safety-sensitive work is typically classified as operating motor vehicles, modes of transportation, other heavy machinery, or tasks requiring high levels of cognitive function or judgment. Farm duties frequently demand the use of heavy machinery, and concurrent use of narcotics alongside safety-sensitive work can be dangerous. This training educates healthcare providers on how to assess occupational agricultural risks and corresponding patient guidance for those who are taking opioid medications.

    Sleepless in America

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention now identifies sleep deficiency as a public health problem.  Sleep affects every moment of our daily lives, from how we think and remember to how our bodies thrive or deteriorate. It determines how we deal with stress, make choices related to safety, and function as human beings. While most health education tends to focus on nutrition and activity, sleep is arguably the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and lack of it causes a significantly reduced quality of life.  This presenter proposes that we prioritize sleep and improve daily sleep hygiene to enhance every facet of our well-being.

    Stepping Boldly into Tough Conversations (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Difficult conversations are something that people rarely look forward to. The reality is ignoring a situation and hoping that it will resolve itself, rarely works. Join us to learn how to confidently step into a tough conversation and promote open communication.

    Strategies to Increase Access to Mental Health Services in Farm Worker Communities in Post-COVID Era Request This Training
    Stress and Dairy Farming: Challenging Times in the Dairy Industry Pave the Way for Mental Health Struggles

    The dairy industry has been struggling with low milk prices, infrastructure problems, trade issues, and isolation for several years. With this comes intense farm stress, despair, and desperation for many. Understanding how the system works – or doesn’t – is important because dairy producers work 24/7/365 to provide our families a safe and nutritious food.

    Stress Control Strategies for the Forestry and Timber Workforce

    Stress can directly impact safety. Whether managing forestry wildfires or working long strenuous days harvesting and hauling timber, the forestry and logging workforce face unique situations that can predispose stress and challenges to mental well-being. The agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (AgFF) industries has one of highest percentages of deaths by suicide. Key factors contributing to despair and distress include financial losses, chronic illness or pain, a sense of work-life imbalance, and lack of mental health support. This session will explore the topic with a review of specific risk factors, and discuss ways to support this workforce in an unpredictable environment. Read More

    Tackling Tough Clinical Conversations

    Many healthcare providers report that addressing behavioral health and substance use issues are of the most challenging areas of their practice.  Providers are unsure how to address these issues and yet they are in a prime position to reduce the negative outcomes related behavioral health problems.  This is especially true in rural areas where agricultural workers are found to have higher rates of suicide, depression, and substance use.  This webinar will focus on how healthcare providers can start the conversations necessary to identify and treat behavioral health problems. 

    Talking to Farmers About Pain (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    The occupational hazards that farmers face put them at greater risk for acute and chronic pain as a result of ergonomic repetition, accident, or surgical procedure. Addressing specific occupational sources of pain and what activities the pain inhibits are crucial to improving treatment. This module will focus on how to transform the conversation between provider and patient to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction.

    The Healing Capacity of Honey Bees: Veterans Using Beekeeping as a Modality to Achieve Positive Mental Health Outcomes

    Veterans deal with a whole host of disabilities, traumas, and transitional issues following military service. Agriculture can serve as a solution to many veteran issues through professional training to support career goals and therapeutic activities to support overall wellness of the veteran and their families. Crosscutting programs like Heroes to Hives seek to address these multifaceted needs through professional training in beekeeping and transpersonal wellness practices within the course that seek to utilize bees and the interaction with them as modalities for positive health outcomes. In this session, we will discuss how Heroes to Hives delivers wellness opportunities and practices to their students.

    The Impact of Climate-Related Hazards on Mental Health

    Extreme weather and climate events can lead to negative human health outcomes. Although the initial outcomes from these natural hazards are typically obvious, the long lasting impacts can be more difficult to identify because of the diversity of potential health burdens during the recovery phase. Mental health outcomes are one of the more complex relationships with natural hazards. The goal of this presentation is to build the link between human health and extreme weather and climate events. The discussion will be focused on rural populations.

    Tools to Help Manage Financial Risk for Livestock Producers (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    Changing climate, market conditions, and many other factors impact the work and health of livestock producers, ranchers, and farmers. When a natural disaster is added on top of other stressors, support from a variety of sources is needed. This webinar will focus on the USDA Disaster Assistance Programs available to support producers who are raising livestock.

    Using a Total Worker Health/Total Farmer Health Approach to Assessing Ag Worker Wellbeing

    In the San Luis Valley, Colorado – community leaders have voiced increasing concern for the behavioral health of workers in the agriculture industry. Using Total Worker Health® and Total Farmer Health® frameworks, we developed an interactive worker wellbeing assessment. Approximately 118 participants responded to our survey with a completion rate adequate for analysis. This presentation will describe worker wellbeing through measures of job satisfaction, coworker support, work affect, work fatigue, overall health status, chronic health conditions, individual stress, general mental health status, substance use, work injury, social support, anxiety, and depression.

    Using Naloxone to Reverse Opioid Overdose in the Agricultural Workplace: Information for Employers and Workers (Continuing Education: Multiple Disciplines)

    In 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General called for increased awareness and availability of naloxone, the opioid antagonist, to reverse the effects of opioid overdose. Despite the rise in the dispensing of naloxone, there is a significant gap in our response across all sectors of society. In the rural parts of our country, where emergency response times can be dangerously long, developing a workplace naloxone availability and use program could ultimately save lives. This webinar will share information from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help employers and workers understand the risk of opioid overdose and the role of naloxone. 

    Page updated: January 2024

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