Opinion: Missouri Farmers Have a New Way to Focus on Mental Health

Opinion: Missouri Farmers Have a New Way to Focus on Mental Health

Garrett Hawkins, a farmer from Appleton City, is president of the Missouri Farm Bureau. He can be reached at garrett.hawkins@mofb.com.    Source

As farmers and ranchers, we pride ourselves on being strong and independent. That doesn’t mean we have to tackle every challenge, including mental health, on our own. We can and should support each other in getting the help – both physical and emotional – that we may need.  Last month served as National Mental Health Awareness Month, which helped highlight the need for rural mental health resources. At Missouri Farm Bureau, we want to continue providing help throughout the year. Today, we are partnering with MU Extension for a training webinar about the “Question, Persuade, Refer” technique for interacting with someone who might be at risk for suicide. Exclusively for Farm Bureau members, this one-hour online course will help participants recognize the warning signs for suicide and learn how to intervene.  

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression or another mental health concern, don’t hesitate to reach out. A healthy farm or ranch is nothing without a healthy you.  Sometimes we simply need to catch a breath and a break. But there are times when the weight can seem too great. That’s why the American Farm Bureau Federation recently unveiled a website called Farm State of Mind. There, anyone can find a directory of stress and mental health resources by state, tips for helping someone in emotional pain, ways to start a conversation and additional resources for managing stress, anxiety or depression. 

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