Raising Awareness of Farm Stress
Raising awareness of farm stress is important, and offering some tools to help weather the stress is critical. In response to growing concerns about well-being support for farmers, farm workers, and families in the Goshen/Gering Fort Laramie Canal area who are facing difficult economic conditions, unpredictable weather extremes, and other pressures within their families, this article will provide resources and information.
Increases in the level of stress and anxiety can lead to poor mental health, but awareness of potential resources is a critical component for addressing stress and improving resilience in these agricultural communities.
Nebraska Extension connects you to:
- Resources to assist in the variety of stresses that can occur during and after a disaster
- Hotlines for immediate assistance
- Disaster resources specific to parents and educators caring for children
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Couple and Family Clinic
Region 1 Behavioral Health Authority offers behavioral health services to the 11 counties of the Nebraska Panhandle: Sheridan, Dawes, Sioux, Box Butte, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Banner, Cheyenne, Deuel, Garden, and Kimball. The Region 1 website has more information on local services.
The U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers provide this “Farmers Mental Health Infographic” which can be printed and posted to increase awareness and inspire conversation around efforts everyone can make.
For audio/visual messaging that can be looped on screen in an office, the Ag Health and Safety Alliance along with UMASH created a Mental Health and Agriculture video:
For how to deal with the mental health effects in the aftermath of a natural disaster, you can connect to the University of Nebraska Medical Center Behavioral Health Education Center of Nebraska to view recorded webinars on:
- The Emotional Impact and Stages of Natural Disasters and Recovery,
- Stages of Grief and Depression,
- Surviving a Natural Disaster: Trauma and Survivor Guilt,
- Natural Disasters and Anxiety,
- Children and Natural Disasters,
- Returning to School: Tips for Teachers, and
- Staying Well in Times of Stress.
Sharing information, starting conversations, and building partnerships to improve our community response is incredibly important. Follow @UNL_CropWatch on Twitter and @UNLBeef on Twitter and Facebook for weekly posts over the next month on rural and agricultural specific topics related to stress and suicide risk, referral resources, coping with substance abuse/opioids, cultivating resiliency, and more.
For more about how you can be part of the conversation, visit the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.