YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
AgriStress Helpline designed to assist Texas farmers, ranchers
By Gary Joiner
A recent national study says most rural adults (52%) and farmers/farm workers (61%) are experiencing more stress and mental health challenges. And they are seeking care because of increased stress.
The AgriStress Helpline is just a phone call or text away for those needing assistance.
The helpline was the idea of the Texas Department of Agriculture. The state agency and Commissioner of Agriculture Sid Miller fund the program to make the services available in Texas.
The helpline is free and confidential. Phone calls have interpretation available in 160 languages, and text message services are available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The helpline is answered by trained professionals who can offer support and help the individual find mental health and agriculture-related resources in their area. The crisis specialists receive training on the factors that impact people working in agriculture. Everyone who answers the helpline is familiar with agriculture and the challenges farmers and ranchers face.
Organizers says it’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of stress, whether it’s acute or chronic stress.
Warning signs include change in routines or social activities, decline in the care of domestic animals, increase in illness or other chronic conditions, increase in farm accidents, decline in appearance of the farmstead and decreased interest in activities or events.
The AgriStress Helpline is available 24/7 at 833-897-2474.
It’s okay to ask for help.
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.
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