Farming is a stressful job, even in good times, and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic turmoil have only added to farmers’ stress. Rural communities face challenges like isolation, lack of mental health professionals and perceived stigma around seeking help for mental health concerns. Farmers, ranchers and rural community members need appropriate resources to help manage their own stress and support their friends and neighbors.
To help farmers and ranchers cope, Farm Credit created a free, online farm stress management course in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), National Farmers Union (NFU), Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and University of Illinois Extension.
This free Rural Resilience online course, open to the public, is made possible by grant funding from Farm Credit. The program will help participants develop the skills to:
- Understand sources of stress,
- Learn the warning signs of stress and suicide,
- Identify effective communication strategies,
- Reduce the stigma related to mental health concerns and
- Connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources.