Sauk County Farm Bureau members Brenda Statz and Randy Roecker talked with NBC Nightly News about the importance of addressing farmer mental health and seeking help when needed.
About Rural Resilience:
American Farm Bureau sponsored a research poll in May 2019 to learn more about mental health in rural America, specifically with farmers and farmworkers. The results showed that mental health is something that many farmers, farmworkers and rural adults struggle with, but the stigma and cost associated with treatment are hindering them from seeking necessary treatment.
Farmers and farmworkers who were surveyed said financial issues (91%), farm or business problems (88%) and fear of losing the farm (87%) impact farmers’ mental health. Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma.
A strong majority of rural adults (91%) said mental health is important to them and/or their family, while 82% of farmers/farm workers said the same. Polling found that a majority of rural adults have either personally sought care (31%) or have a family member (24%) who has sought care for a mental health condition.
Three in four rural adults (75%) said it’s important to reduce stigma about mental health in the agriculture community, while two in three farmers/farm workers (66%) said the same.
To learn more about this research, how to spot the warning signs of stress or how to help someone who is having thoughts of suicide, visit American Farm Bureau’s Rural Resilience resources page.