Mental health access for farmers

A bill to appropriate $100,000 for grants to mental health counselors to provide support to farm families and business operators was heard this week. Given the economic realities some farmers face, health supports can be difficult to come by because of cost and a lack of access to providers based on geography. This proposal hopes to bridge the gap to access and provide critical awareness to those who may be impacted by mental health issues. (S.F. 2555)

Additional services are available. The Department of Agriculture has setup a free, confidential toll-free number (833-600-2670) open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for farmers and rural residents who are being impacted by stress, anxiety, depression, or economic hardship. When announcing this service, Commissioner Fredrickson said, “I farmed for 24 years, so I’m no stranger to the stress and worry that can be part of farming. I know that sometimes it helps to talk to someone about problems that can seem insurmountable. There is always help available around the corner.”