WASHINGTON — In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the American Farm Bureau Federation will host a free virtual event, Farmers Saving Lives, on Tuesday, May 31, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
The live event will feature compelling stories from three Farm Bureau members who believe that advocating for mental health wellness is a way to save lives in rural and farming communities. Farmers, ranchers and their families are encouraged to attend via telephone, smartphone or tablet from planters, harvesters, greenhouses, dairy barns, farm trucks, classrooms and carpool lines.
“Farmers and ranchers continue to feel the harmful effects of stress brought on by so many factors that are out of their control, such as labor shortages, soaring costs for fertilizer, fuel and other inputs, extreme weather events and many other challenges,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We’re holding this virtual event on the last day of Mental Health Month to remind everyone that our work does not stop on June 1 – it continues throughout the year.”
According to AFBF national research polls, a strong majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing the farm impact farmers’ mental health, and a majority of rural adults and farmers/farmworkers are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges than they were a year ago. Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers also have higher than average rates of suicide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Register today to hear from Farm Bureau member advocates who have unique reasons for caring deeply about stress and mental health and have taken it upon themselves to do their part to make a difference.
If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, visit the Farm State of Mind website at farmstateofmind.org for information on crisis hotlines, treatment locators, tips for helping someone in emotional pain, ways to start a conversation and resources for managing stress, anxiety or depression.
–American Farm Bureau Federation