Did you realize
Farm families are the backbone of America. But farm families are feeling the pressure of an inconsistent and unreliable economy. These stressors can lead to mental and emotional distress, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and even suicide.
Farming and ranching rank in the top ten of most stressful occupations. They also rank first and third respectfully in suicides. Understanding what those stress signs are is imperative. We may want to ignore them but at some point, there is a price to pay-physical health like a heart attack, emotional health like a broken relationship, mental health like depression or worse. Taking care of yourself and those around you is so important.
So what can you do, be aware, add coping strategies, find someone to talk to. Be intentional! Exercise, get enough sleep, eat healthy, take time every day to reflect on the good things in your life.
Awareness is the first step to understanding Stress and its effect on us. Making small intentional steps daily can be a life saver!
Penn State Extension has prepared this selection of assets to help farm families navigate the numerous resources available online and provide timely, science-based education and information to support prosperous farms and healthy farm families.
If you are a farmer in crisis, or know of someone in need of immediate assistance, go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website or call 1-800-273-8255 or dial 911.
Additional Extension programs to help communicating with producers with stress
- Communicating with Farmers Under Stress
- Weathering the Storm (coming soon)
- How to Cultivate a Productive Mindset – Michigan State University Extension
- Farm Stress & Decision Making During Challenging Times – Agricultural Safety & Health Information Clearinghouse
- Farming & Ranching in Tough Time – North Dakota State University Extension Service
- A Five Step Approach to Alleviating Farm Stress – South Dakota State University Extension
- Accepting Your Feelings- eXtension.org
- Helping Friends Cope with Financial Crisis- Montana State University Extension
- Surviving the Farm Economy Downturn – Texas A&M University Extension (Chapter 20 deals with stress-related issues)