Mental health resources for Oregon farmers

Tayleranne Gillespie,
Wayfinder Communications
(originally published in Oregon Wheat)

Farmers nationwide face increased challenges year after year. From increased fuel costs, changing weather, and logistical issues, there are constantly new obstacles to overcome. But one thing that often goes overlooked and unaddressed is mental health. A 2020 report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that farmers died by suicide at a higher rate than people in most other professions. The same study found that overall suicide rates have increased by more than 40% in less than 20 years. High stress, long work hours and the physical demands of farming can all lead to depression, and other mental health issues. There are resources available, and it is crucial to take steps to get help before it is too late! The Oregon Wheat Growers League has many resources listed on our website that are free and easy to access.

• The Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network run by Oregon State University offers helpful resources and classes.
• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a crisis line you can call anytime: 1-800-273-8255. Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741.
• Farm State of Mind Resource Directory offers a nationwide database for your or your family members to find help and learn more about the mental health difficulties farmers and farm families face.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to one of these resources. You are an important part of your family, your farm, and your community!

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