YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Farmers more comfortable talking about stress, mental health challenges
By Gary Joiner
There is still a stigma in rural and farm communities about seeking help or treatment for stress and mental health challenges. But a new national survey says farmers and people in rural areas are more comfortable talking about these important issues.
The American Farm Bureau Federation has conducted research on farmer mental health since 2019. The surveys measure changes and trends in stigma, personal experiences with mental health, awareness of information about mental health resources and comfort in talking about mental health with others.
Conversations help reduce stigma around farmer stress and mental health.
Farmers/farm workers are more comfortable talking to friends, family and their doctors about stress and mental health than they were in 2019. Four in five rural adults (83%) and 92% of farmers/farm workers say they would be comfortable talking about solutions with a friend or family member dealing with stress or a mental health condition. The percentage of farmers/farm workers who say they would be comfortable talking to friends and family members has increased 22% since 2019.
A majority of rural adults (52%) and farmers/farm workers (61%) are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges compared to a year ago, and they are seeking care because of increased stress. Younger rural adults are more likely than older rural adults to say they are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges compared to a year ago, and they are more likely than older rural adults to say they have personally sought care from a mental health professional.
Stigma around seeking help or treatment for mental health has decreased but is still a factor, particularly in agriculture, according to the survey.
If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally or has concerns about their mental health, visit the Farm State of Mind website at farmstateofmind.org. There, you’ll find information on crisis hotlines, treatment locators, tips for helping someone in emotional pain, ways to start a conversation and resources for managing stress, anxiety or depression.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
Media outlets: This content may be used without further permission.