Utah Farm Bureau Gearing Up for May, Mental Health Awareness Month

May 01, 2024

Studies show that farmer suicide rates are several times higher than the national average. Jessica Cabrera, managing director of member engagement with the American Farm Bureau Federation, says mental health among farmers and ranchers is an important topic.

"There are just so many unpredictable experiences in farming, experiences such as natural disasters, lots of financial uncertainty, fluctuating markets, labor shortages, trade disruptions. There's so many factors that contribute to extreme stress for farmers and ranchers," Cabrera said. "And they also often live in a very isolated setting, which can compound the issue. I think it's really important to break the stigma around mental health challenges."

If you or someone you know is struggling, the Farm State of Mind website has many resources to help.

"You'll find a national resource directory that is searchable. You'll find helpful tips like how to help someone in emotional pain or how to start a conversation with someone. We have videos, including video and radio public service announcements," Cabrera said. "We have a peer-to-peer support community resource called Togetherall. That resource offers a space for farm family members ages 16 and older a way to express themselves anonymously and to receive and give peer support."

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