Senator Baldwin Announces Increased Rural Mental Health Funding

Senator Tammy Baldwin this week announced increased mental health funding for farmers. The Wisconsin Democrat’s Facilitating Accessible Resources for Mental health and Encouraging Rural Solutions for Immediate Response to Stressful Times, or FARMERS FIRST Act, provides funding for local mental health resources. The bill was included in the 2018 farm bill, passed last year. Baldwin worked to pass an amendment last week to a Senate appropriations bill that will provide $8 million, an increase of $6 million from Fiscal Year 2019, for the bipartisan legislation. Baldwin says, “farmers are facing many difficult challenges and we all need to work together to provide them the support they need.” Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that farmers and other individuals who work in agriculture experience a high rate of suicide. The increased funding will help expand access to stress reduction strategies and suicide prevention programs for people who work in agriculture.