Dealing with stress, pressure in agriculture

Past few years have put an unprecedented level of pressure on farmers and ranchers

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It’s important that farmers and ranchers take time to talk to someone, take a few minutes to themselves and utilize available resources to help them cope with today’s worries. (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public Domain)

WACO, Texas — An overwhelming majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing the farm negatively impact mental health.

The weight of these concerns and others can be heavy.

It’s important that farmers and ranchers take time to talk to someone, take a few minutes to themselves and utilize available resources to help them cope with today’s worries.

A recently introduced bill in Washington, D.C., aims to help. Its goal is to boost mental health services in rural areas.

The Home-Based Telemental Health Care Act of 2020 would direct the secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Health Liaison, to award grants for home-based telemental health care demonstrations.

The past few years have put an unprecedented level of pressure on America’s farmers and ranchers.

Experts say farmers and ranchers can help one another by starting a conversation. The conversation can be started in any number of ways. This includes acknowledging what they’re going through and asking how they’re doing.

Something as simple as “You seem to have a lot on your mind. How can I help?” might get the conservation rolling.

A good resource is the Farm State of Mind effort of the American Farm Bureau Federation. It has suggestions and resource links on the site to help deal with today’s stress and pressure in agriculture.

–Texas Farm Bureau

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