Farming is one of the most challenging ways to make a living and can take a toll on farmers and everyone close to them. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Jessica Cabrera, American Farm Bureau managing director of member engagement, says mental health can be a difficult topic to discuss in farm country.
“Farm life is definitely a demanding and stressful way of living. There are often times farmers and ranchers will struggle in isolation. It is okay to not be okay, and May, Mental Health Month, is an opportunity for us to spotlight that message as well as the resources that are available to folks who are seeking help or maybe who have family and friends they would like to be able to help.”
Cabrera says both the Farm Bureau and many of their strategic partners have resources available to help those struggling to cope with the challenges of farming.
“If you go to farmstateofmind.org, American Farm Bureau offers a number of resources, including a national resource directory where folks can find all sorts of information that is available in every state and Puerto Rico, all across the country. These are hotlines, counselling services, as well as other support materials and informational resources.”
She says it’s incredibly important that farmers realize they don’t have to fight through mental health challenges on their own.
“We are a strong believer, in our organization, that we are stronger together and even if someone is feeling alone, isolated, maybe even as if no one understands if someone is struggling emotionally or has concerns about what their tomorrow might look like, I believe the most important thing is to recognize that it is okay to not be okay.”
Again, for resources on mental health, go to farmstateofmind.org.