The link between Mental Health & Movement – A conversation with Labor-Movement
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month?
The Maine Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network asked Cynthia Flores, Labor–Movement founder, what movement had to do with mental health. Here’s what she said:
- Movement health is tied to mental health. As a farmer or a person involved in labor occupations, it is probable that you depend on your body to do an extraordinary amount of work. Often, your labor is a large part of your identity, and, in many instances, is a large percentage of your income. For many – farmer, fisherman, landscaper, forester – is not a job description, it is how you define yourself and your life.
- Physical health and the ability to do work are a few factors that contribute to overall mental health. The days, weeks, seasons and years add up. For some that progression is slow until perhaps one day it’s not.
- The ability to move, to work, to tend the land, to tend animals, to feed yourself and others is a labor of love that takes a certain strength of character to pursue and endure.
- Whether you have farmed for years or are just beginning, Labor–Movement’s focus is movement health + wellness and injury prevention. Our workshops and training can be utilized to learn or reinforce sound movement patterns while performing work-related tasks. It can also be an avenue to check-in on other topics that affect work satisfaction and efficiency.
Certain mental health needs are best addressed by experts in that field. For assistance, for yourself or someone you know, please reach out to trusted professionals.
- Maine Crisis Services: Available 24 hours. Call at 888.568.1112
- FarmAid Crisis Support – available M-F, 9-5. Call at 1.800.FARM.AID or 1.800.327.6243
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Available 24 hours. 1.800.273.TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line: Text “CONNECT” to 741741
- Maine Mobile Health, call at 888.351.9634 support for farmers & farmworkers.
- Call 211 or visit 211maine.org for access to behavioral health resources.
For more resources on managing farm stress, visit:
- Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network Northeast
- Maine Agricultural Mediation Program
- UMaine Farm Coaching
- UMaine AgrAbility Resources