Every day farm families wage their own personal battles – whether it is working through a very challenging financial environment, dealing with increasing regulations in almost every area of their business, struggling with market loss or just finding a way to navigate through the dynamics of running a family business into today’s world. It’s challenging at best, a battle at its worst.
Too often, though, we choose to fight those battles alone. However, internalizing that stress can lead to both physical and mental health issues. It can also lead to accidents on the farms, conflicts among family members, higher rates of addiction and a host of other problems.
Remember what matters most is your health and own personal well-being. Stress can take a serious toll on your body and mind. If you do feel overwhelmed, find people you can lean on for guidance and support, whether it’s a loved one, friend, or your pastor. Don’t ever try to carry the burden on your own. Having people around you can help you keep moving forward, and that is half the battle.
Here are some resources that may useful.
Someone to Listen:
- Agriwellness, Inc. offers a list of hotlines that are available and have counselors on hand who understand agriculture issues and the stress of farming. Click here to access that information.
- Iowa Concern Hotline (1-800-447-1985) offers assistance to address stress and mental health concerns. They are focused on farming and the rural area, but will assist anyone who calls. Their services are available nationwide.
- If you would like someone to talk to in person, the Center for Dairy Excellence will identify someone nearby with training in providing advice and counseling in dealing with stress. Call our office at 717-346-0849 to ask for help.
Resources to Help:
- Colorado State University offers a handout that identifies the symptoms of stress as well as some coping techniques to help manage stress during difficult times. Click on this link to access that handout.
- The South Dakota State University, South Dakota counties, and USDA offer resources to help recognize signs of stress and alleviate farm stress.
- Michigan State University offers an online course to help farmers better manage farm stress. That course is available at this link.
- The National Agrability Association has resources to help farmers and rural Americans manage mental health and stress-related issues. Click here to access their resources.
If you are an agribusiness representative or would just like resources on helping others cope with stress and mental health issues, click on this link to access resources in that area.