Mental Health and Stress Management
Farming can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, unpredictable weather, plant pests, livestock diseases, and isolation all contribute to farmers’ anxiety. Severe depression and suicidal thoughts can be common in our day and age. If you are concerned about yourself or about somebody else, help is available.
Resources for the Maine Agricultural Community
Check out the complete list of resources for Farmers Under Stress, compiled by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Here are a few:
- Stress, Resilience, and Resources: Responding to the Impacts of Covid-19 on Farms. On May 20, 2020, Extension professor, Leslie Forstadt. PhD, presented information about stress, building resilience, and available resources to meet farmers’ needs during this everchanging time.
- Farm and Ranch Family Stress and Depression: A Checklist and Guide for Making Referrals.
By Robert J. Fetsch, Colorado State University and Roger T. Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Mental Health and the Impact on Wellness for Farm Families (PDF). AgriSafe Network, Protecting People Who Feed America.
- Recognizing Farmer Stress, Anger, Depression, and Suicide — Thinking and Knowing What to Do Next, a webinar with Dr. Robert Fetsch, Extension Specialist and Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University. Presented by UMaine Extension.
Caregivers provide assistance to another individual suffering from an illness, disability, or other limiting condition. Rural caregivers face additional challenges such as geographical isolation, gaps in rural service delivery systems, and the unique needs of agricultural workers with disabilities. AgrAbility recognizes the unique needs of rural caregivers and the National AgrAbility Project provides resources specifically for them.
Maine Family Farms: Life and Business in Balance. The needs of farmers at each life stage are unique, as choices about farming practices, child rearing, business growth, and succession planning enter into decision making. This series, provides a starting point for farm families to think about issues that range from family conversations to managing stress and sharing ideas about life and business balance.
Why “Thank You” Matters: Expressing Appreciation (#4801)
Running Successful Farm-Family Meetings (#4802)
Farm and Family — Finding Balance (#4803)
Understanding Roles in the Farm Family (#4804)
Recognizing the Signs of Farm Family Stress (#4805)
Promoting Senior Mental Health and Preventing Suicide is an online course developed by the Arkansas AgrAbility project through the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension. This is a self-paced class that presents an overview of the risks faced by seniors for mental health and suicide instances, and offers practical ideas for mitigating and for dealing with those risks. The general public with senior or elderly parents and those who work with older adults, especially in rural areas, can benefit from this course. The course is free.