It’s estimated that 1 out of every 5 US adults is facing some sort of mental health issue. That would include over half a million farmers, but many experts believe the numbers for farmers are probably higher than that.
“Those who engage in farming have higher rates of depression and anxiety, higher psychological distress than the general population,” said Dr. Courtney Cuthbertson with University of Illinois Extension.
She’s one of the developers of a new online stress training program intended for not just people who deal with farmers, like lenders or USDA personnel, but producers themselves. It’s called “Rural Resilience Farm Stress Training”.
The training will help producers who constantly deal with things that are out of their control like the weather and the markets.
“So, being able to engage in this course online can help us to say, ‘Okay- well if we’re not able to control these other things, what are the things that we can control and how can we reach out and get support?’ So, in the course, participants do learn signs and symptoms of stress and suicide, how to effectively communicate with people experiencing stress, and how to activate relevant resources.”
The training allows you to go at your own pace. It will take around three and a half hours to complete. And the cost to enroll is completely free. The training can be found here.